The other night, I was flipping channels and came across Dave Ramsey’s show on the Fox Business channel. I had seen it once or twice before, and figured it was a good way to spend an extra hour. That night, Chris Gardner was on the show, pushing his book Start Where You Are (which I’ll be reviewing soon). I found Chris’s segment to be really inspiring and of course bought his book after that. At the end of the show, Dave has this saying he always closes with: “live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else”. And then he used this huge pair of scissors to cut up a credit card.
That saying really struck a chord with me. Click here to continue
My earliest memories of Christmas are of my grandma and mom cooking tons of food early Christmas morning. They would always begin the night before, and in between the yummy smells that teased me and the anticipation of presents, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Our family had the tradition of letting me (I was the only child for 9 years) open one present at midnight and the rest the next morning. Then, we’d all sit down to one huge Christmas feast, usually served mid-day, and later on come back for seconds after our stomachs went down.
Granny passed away in 1996 and Christmas hasn’t really been the same since. My mom is pretty anti-holidays and I don’t really blame her, she has her reasons. I like to celebrate Christmas by either being in Florida with my mom (she cooks a few of her baby girl’s favorite dishes) or when I can’t get away, my extended family here in the DC area. The only thing better than Christmas dinner with people who love you, are multiple Christmas dinners with people who love you! And who can forget the gifts that keep on giving – bringing home plates that last you a day or two after Christmas!
What are your memories of Christmas?
I just want to encourage you, like I did at Thanksgiving, not to overdo your holiday munching so that you bounce back after the holidays and stay on track for your fitness goals. It was a pleasant feeling not to be stuffed after Thanksgiving and I’m looking forward to leaving some room in my stomach to enjoy my friends. For me, Christmas isn’t about decorations, music or food so much as it is a celebration of family, friends, and all the blessings I’ve experienced over the year.
Whatever you do, wherever you are, I hope you have a joyous and loving holiday season!
For the last week or so I’ve been recovering from a respiratory infection. As I lay in bed, I amused myself with a paranormal romance novel. In a nutshell, the book is about a sleep god who falls in love with a woman whose dreams he’s been entering. He desires her so much, he takes human form for 2 weeks to experience what she’s like. While he’s there, he decides to help her find Atlantis to fulfill a promise to her deceased father. Can you imagine a handsome, powerful god coming to help you on an important quest? Even though the heroine was grateful, she remained doubtful, skeptical and pessimistic throughout the book. She questioned, second-guessed, and conveniently forgot certain instructions, such as “don’t release this person because the world will end”. After a while, I kept thinking “this broad is really getting on my nerves!” After I finished the book, I realized that alot of people are like that in real life and aren’t even aware if it.
Gauge your level of optimism
As a goal-oriented person, I suspect that you generally believe that life can get better if you apply yourself to the pursuit of making it so. But what do you feel is the nature of life? Do you feel that life is not fair, that ‘what goes around comes around’ or do you feel that what happens to us is random and we should make the best of it? You may have a general good feeling about life, but really examine your ‘small thoughts’ to determine what your real outlook is.
For example, you get an unexpected bill or you blow your budget for the month. What is your knee-jerk reaction? Do you say “I knew this would happen”, “I never have any money”, or “if it ain’t one thing, its another”. These types of thoughts indicate that your level of optimism pertaining to money is low. On the other hand, if you recognize that sometimes unexpected things happen, “there’s always next month to try again” or “I may not have met my goal this month, but I’m certainly getting better”, then there’s indication that you have an optimistic outlook.
You may or may not get ill but you’ve probably experienced burnout – prolonged exposure to stress that causes you to feel exhausted, mentally depleted and overwhelmed. You lose motivation, become irritable and your production decreases. Now stress and burnout aren’t the same thing – usually you’ve been dealing with stress for a while and then feel burned out. Once you reach burnout, you start not to care about your commitments because you’ve been tired for so long. No one likes to deal with burnout and sometimes we feel helpless to prevent it. Here are some tips to alleviate the symptoms of burnout.
Start and/or end the day with relaxation
When you feel burned out, your body and your mind start to feel worn down. Beginning and ending the day with a few minutes of “me” time can help to recharge your batteries. Use this time to pray, meditate, write in your journal or take a long, hot bath. Taking time for yourself, even if its only a few minutes, goes a long way in boosting your mental and physical endurance.
Get back on track with healthy diet and exercise
If your increased responsibilities have caused increased stress, its likely that your workout routine and healthy eating habits have fallen by the wayside. This is common because as we get busier and try to handle more responsibilities, we usually sacrifice the time we devote to ourselves in order to get things done. Try to squeeze your workouts back into your day. When you feel energized and refreshed, you can accomplish more and it’s a powerful investment in yourself. Eating fresh fruits and veggies also help with brain activities and your energy level.
Tap back into your creative outlets
Just like with healthy eating and exercise, we often neglect our creative outlets when we’re strapped for time. But your hobbies allow you to disconnect from the work day, give you a break from career and family responsibilities and allows your mind to rest while you are involved with something fun. Again, a few minutes each day goes a long way.
If you’re dealing with too much, then scale back where you can. There are core responsibilities that we can’t give up: our jobs, our families and our homes. But there are some that we don’t want to give up but aren’t essential to our lives. I’m sure the church committee that you chair or your volunteer coordinator can find someone just as competent as you who isn’t burned out. In addition, cutting the amount of time and energy you spend on external activities will free up some time for you to recharge your batteries, relax and follow your creative outlets.
What ways do you alleviate burn out? How do you prevent the symptoms from coming up?
The concept of what a hater is has gotten warped though. Sometimes if you disagree with someone or just don’t like something, you’re labeled as a hater. Hating is not disliking something, hating is a jealous or insecure reaction to another person. Urban dictionary defines a hater as:
A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.
Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesnt really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.
Susan: You know, Kevin from accounting is doing very well. He just bought a house in a very nice part of town.
Jane (hater): If he is doing so well why does he drive that ’89 Taurus?
Now I bet as soon as you read the title of this post, you immediately formed a mental picture of the person you feel hates on you the most. But I also bet that I can tell you who your biggest hater is: its not your mother, brother, or best friend; its not one of your coworkers or your significant other. Your biggest hater is your own mind.
Click here to continue
- Spalding is a jazz musician that sings and plays bass at the same time.
- She is only 25 and has performed in the White House East Room (twice!) and will perform at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony later this month.
- She is the youngest musician to receive a professorship at the Berklee College of Music.
- She was raised by a single mother in the ghetto and now tours and travels the world.
Danielle is a 30-something woman on a journey to rediscover her sense of style. I applaud her efforts because that’s an ongoing project that I’m working on too. She blogs about her progress and beauty finds. I think its really smart that she opens her blog to suggestions from others. What an efficient way to get ‘er done!
Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you
Where are you going to?
Do you know…?
Do you get
What you’re hoping for
When you look behind you
There’s no open door
What are you hoping for?
Do you know…?
It can be utterly frustrating when you feel you are stagnant but don’t know where you should go from where you are. Sometimes the reason is that you don’t know how to make things happen, but sometimes its because you don’t know what to make happen.
For example, you hate your job and are applying to whatever openings come your way. But you don’t feel led in any particular direction, you struggle with writing cover letters and explaining why you’re interested in the job, and you’re not getting anywhere with your search. I think the lack of direction is holding you back.
Or, another example, is that you know deep down that your mate is not compatible with you. Your relationship is not working – but you would rather stay with them than be alone. Because you feel that there isn’t much out there for you.
In both of these examples, you’d be trying to roadtrip through a state you’ve never traveled through without a map. Without first knowing your destination, its very difficult to start out on a path and arrive in your intended vicinity without many false starts, rerouting your course and sometimes doubling back on where you’ve already been.
Today is World AIDS Day. I’ve blogged before about how STDs can affect your relationships and why your health is more important than your sex life. However, today is a day where people around the world think about the risks and affects of this disease so its imperative that we all are aware of how insidious it is.
Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.
The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
I’ll repeat a fact that’s worth repeating: AIDS is now the leading cause of death for black women ages 25-44. There is no cure for AIDS but with proper treatment those affected are living longer and healthier lives.
So today, think about ways you can take action in response to AIDS:
- get tested for HIV
- practice safer methods to prevent HIV
- decide not to engage in high risk behaviors
- talk about HIV prevention with family, friends, and colleagues
- provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS
- get involved with or host an event for World AIDS Day in your community
Here are links around the internet that raise awareness of this disease: