Happy Birthday, Momma!

Today, March 31, 2022, is my mother’s birthday. If she were still with us, she would be 97 years young. My mother was a strong woman. Life through many ba lemons her way, and she made lemonade.

I’m proud of my mother. When my Dad left us, she was deeply hurt. I was her confidant. I was the person she talked to because we were new to California. She had five mouths to feed besides herself.

I will always be grate to my Dad’s aunt, uncle, and cousin. They provide us with groceries. Back in the 1950s, you had to show proof you had lived in California for a year before you could receive any assistance from the Welfare Service,

Those were some lean months. My mom had only an 8th-grade education, but she was determined to work for the Post Office, get a car, a home, have a little money in the bank.

As I grew older, I had my doubts she would accomplish her goals. She prepared for the Post Office by going to the library to study the testing materials. In the meantime, she took low-paying jobs to supplement her income and provide for her family. These were jobs the County helped her get.

To make a long story short. I was an adult in my apartment when the Post Office hired my mother. My brother joined the Marines and gave my mother the old used car he had fixed up. You would have thought he gave her Cadilac; she was so proud of that car.

My mother saved her money and purchased a brand new house. When she retired, she sold her house and bought another new home. When she left here, she had money in the bank, her home was paid for, but she no longer had a car because she had lost her vision.

My mother achieved her dreams. It took years, but she never gave up. Happy birthday, Mom! Thanks for being an excellent role model for us. My mother loved her family and was committed to taking care of us and achieving her dream.

I share her story with you; if you are struggling with a goal and start to have doubts, don’t give up. If it is a dream you want bad enough, stick with it.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Journaling to Keep Track Of Progress & Growth

crop ethnic businesswoman with open notepad at table
Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Not all journals are designed to capture emotional issues. Some journals are intended for convenient applications. Journals that track progress or growth are an excellent way to support you on your journey, such as:

✓Weight loss

✓Better nutritional choices

✓Business projects

✓Prepping for a marathon

✓Strength training

✓A pregnancy

Journals that track the specific journey on the way to a designated outcome are easy to create and deliver immediate feedback and long-term insight into the success or failure of the goal. They are an excellent tool for measuring and motivating individuals and teams.

The journal may be used as motivation to keep at it or prove that things are working and you need to stay the course. The journal may be an excellent tool for your care provider to see your actions when they cannot be with you day-to-day.

Here are some great ways to keep your journal front and center while you charge after your goal:

Post the info in a prominent place- Your bathroom mirror or your staff break room may be a great place to keep your journal front and center while tracking your progress.

Share on social media- Some people love tracking their progress and sharing it with their tribe. Apps are available for more personal journeys that make it fun and easy to share with your tribe.

Keep things portable- Sometimes, it’s best to keep things top of mind wherever you are. Your smartphone, a notebook in your purse or briefcase, or car are great ways always to have your tracking info handy. 

Tracking information for progress can show you just how far you have come in a short time. Reflecting on the journey is a beautiful motivator.

Here are some unconventional ways you can track your progress:

✓Take a photo each week

✓Do a daily video journal

✓Capture a before pic

✓Create a graph to fill in overtime

✓Start a spreadsheet

✓Download an app

Journaling for progress and growth is a satisfying way to see results quickly and to use those results to motivate and empower yourself or your team.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Journaling For Mental Calm and Clarity

I have more information to share regarding journaling. I may finish the rest of this week with the information I learn on journaling. I have not decided on next week. By now, you know I like to like to write about different subjects, and friends have convinced me I should share more of my creative writing.

I tell you this every so often for the benefit of new people following my blog. The idea is not only to keep you from getting bored, but I don’t want to get bored either. So I will continue to provide you with information you can use and try to entertain you.

Now that I have that out of the way let’s talk journaling.

Life gets overwhelming, and emotions run high when we are battling with demons or trying to solve a problem that feels unsolvable. One of the most-used tools of therapists or consultants is journaling. Journaling is one of the most effective ways to create clarity and calm out of chaos and confusion.

Let’s look at how journaling can create more clarity in your life:

Journaling is a judgment-free activity that doesn’t talk back by giving a voice to your feelings. Journals are there to receive your information. Unlike your best friend or mother, a journal is there to listen and not offer unsolicited advice. A journal doesn’t meddle or get bored. A journal provides a safe space for you to process. Whether good, bad, or socially inappropriate, a journal is an excellent way to free yourself from your burdens and reduce chaos.

By working your mind to solve problems- Studies prove that our minds are designed to solve problems. Our psyche wants to figure out how to do whatever needs to be done. It is how innovation and technology have changed the world by solving problems. The best way to solve a problem is to work on it. Sort of like a Rubik’s cube, imagine your mind twisting and turning those colors until you get the pattern that unlocks the door and fixes the dilemma.

Helping you define next steps- As you journal and express yourself and work on the issues at hand, your mind experiences dopamine release and starts to feel calm and competent. Ideas begin to form as to your next steps, and suddenly you have an epiphany that changes the game. Your sleep improves, your confidence improves, and you are focused.

There is something magical about releasing your chaos and confusion into a journal and discovering that there is calm and clarity available to you. Allow yourself to work through your issues by journaling and experiencing the satisfaction of solving your problems.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

How To Get Started Keeping A Journal

I had a jam-packed weekend. I attended another writer’s conference and several meetings. But it is good to be back here writing my blog. I am sharing more information on journaling, so let’s get started.

Deciding on a journal is usually far more straightforward than actually beginning to journal. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Once you start, you can shift your style or abandon your style for another that makes more sense or is a better fit.

Here are some great things to ask yourself before you start to journal.

✓How do I want to express myself when I journal?

✓How much time do I have to spend journaling?

✓Where do I want to do my journaling?

✓Is there an activity I love that I can use as a form of journaling?

✓What is my goal in creating this journal?

Answering these questions helps you choose the best method and time frame to begin journaling. All you need is to pick the process and time frame that suits you and start.

Consider these things when making your decision.

Tools Matter- Find a pen that is smooth and effortless to use. Decide if you love a notebook that lays flat, a bound blank book, or a notepad. If you are using an electronic notebook, make sure you are in a comfortable space where ever you work. Be on the lookout for tools to make journaling fun and time well spent.

Time is critical- Find a time when you have quiet time and are charged to do your journaling. It may only be before the family wakes in the morning or after they go to bed. Perhaps you will have to journal in the car between activities for your kids. Be intentional about creating a routine you can count on when you start to journal.

Spacial Awareness- Time may be a commodity, but there are ways to increase your productivity when journaling. Reduce distractions, including unnecessary noises. Turn off the radio, television or close your door. Go outside and listen to the sound of nature or turn on a fan or white noise device. Limit the number of people in your personal space and consider diffusing oils or having a scented candle burning.

Do what comes naturally- The best way to begin journaling is by doing what already comes naturally. If you love to write, get to it. If you are a list maker, start listing your thoughts in nice neat rows. If you are a talker and a runner, consider an audio journal that you can dictate into while you do double duty as you exercise. 

Have a why- When you have a solid why to what you do, you are more likely to stick with it. Knowing why you are journaling helps get you going and keeps you going. If you are trying to lose weight or manage a health issue, knowing that you are journaling your food intake for your health will keep you motivated.

Starting the journal isn’t tricky, and the fun begins when you decide to start. From finding the perfect tools to expressing yourself naturally and effortlessly, you will be on your way to recording important history about your life before you know it.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

A Strange Voice

I will be feeling this way tomorrow when I have to do house cleaning. I have had a very busy weekend. I attended a two day writing conference, attended two Toastmasters club meetings and a training. My head is swimming.

So, when I saw this message, I thought it appropriate for me. Maybe you have had a crazy weekend too. I have a 6:30 am meeting, so I am off to bed. Until tomorrow, please stay safe, and keep the faith.

What You Can Expect When Gratitude Becomes a Way of Life

Gratitude doesn’t just boost your mood; it can also transform all of your relationships if you allow it. Here are just a few ways gratitude can improve your friendships, connections, and relationships.

Gratitude Heals Relationships

It’s easy to focus on what your spouse is doing wrong or how you feel your friend is failing you. But often, these attitudes toward others create a negative loop. For example, Sharon thought her husband was lazy. The more she told him this, the less he tried to please her. It allowed a negative pattern to continue for months.

Instead of focusing on what others should or shouldn’t do, think about what you love about them. You might say, “Yes, my father calls me frequently to offer advice on my job search. It’s comforting to know he cares so much.”

Gratitude Deepens Relationships

Sometimes, gratitude can strengthen a relationship that’s just beginning. For example, Amelia had always been interested in becoming a professional photographer.

At a parents’ night meeting, she discovered one of her daughter’s classmates had a mother who was a professional photographer. The other woman happily chatted with Amelia and answered all of her questions.

Amelia sent a thank-you note the next day. The other mother loved the message and offered to go on a coffee date so she could share more tips with Amelia. The woman went on to become Amelia’s business mentor and guided her through the process of finding clients.

Gratitude Strengthens Relationships

 You may not realize it, but it shows up in your relationships when you’re grateful. For example, if you’re thankful for your mom, you’re likely to demonstrate this without realizing it. You take the time to listen to her when she calls, you offer to help her with complex tasks, or you do an enjoyable activity together.

When you express gratitude in your relationships, the other person feels valued and heard. As a result, they want to bless you, too. It creates a continuous cycle of generosity that contributes to positive feelings on both sides.

Let your loved ones know you appreciate them. You can do this by thanking them for something they’ve done or who they are. For example, you might thank a friend for bringing you cookies after surgery. But you could also thank her for being so thoughtful when you were in the middle of a difficult time.

Relationships are precious, and you should value them. Spend time each day, letting a loved one know you care.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Spread Gratitude with Spontaneous Notes

Arielle was a grade school teacher living in Michigan. She was feeling discouraged about a student that she was struggling to help. She wondered if her work was making any difference when she received a card in the mail.

It was a letter from one of her former students, John. He thanked her for all of her hard work and dedication. He explained that his mother had been a single mom, and he didn’t have anyone to help him at home. While others had given up and written him off, Arielle’s encouragement and kindness had kept him going.

Arielle was touched by the letter that she cried. She started a campaign in her classroom, encouraging each student to write a letter of gratitude toward someone who had positively influenced them.

If you want to bless someone, you can write a short note and tell them how much you care. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Keep it Short

Some people believe that a thank you note must be super long to be sincere. However, a short thank you letter doesn’t have to be more than two paragraphs. A brief message can be more meaningful than a long one that rambles.

Share Examples

When writing a thank you letter, try to mention what the recipient did. For example, when Delaney wrote a thank you note to the speaker of her women’s conference, she thanked the other woman for the time she took to encourage others behind the scenes.

Once you’ve shared what the person did, explain why it was meaningful. Delaney’s note touched on how the speaker’s compassionate response spoke to her heart for hurting women.

Be Authentic

Remember that writing a letter of gratitude isn’t like writing a college term paper. You don’t have to use fancy words or impress the recipient. Instead, share from the heart and use everyday language.

Handwritten Means More

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s tempting to send your thoughts via email. But a physical, handwritten letter shows the recipient that you cared enough to spend valuable time writing to them.

A handwritten note often becomes a keepsake item. It gives the receiver a chance to re-read your kind words whenever they need encouragement.

Don’t Forget The Closing

When you’re finishing a note, you may struggle with how to end it. For an informal letter going to a friend or family member you know well, you may want to use an expression of love like “sending hugs” or “love you tons.”

But for a professional letter, you’ll want a more formal closing. Try using expressions like “thanks again” or “sincerely.” These closings show you care without being too personal.

Think of the ones who’ve influenced you over the years and consider writing one of them a handwritten thank you note. A few people you may want to thank might include a teacher who believed in you, a mentor who guided you during a difficult season, or a spiritual leader who encouraged you.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

What Happens When We Don’t Focus on Gratitude?

I am posting the missing part of the post on March 22, 2022. I started the post to tell about three problems. However, I became tired and sleepy. I decided to write only one problem but forgot to change the three problems to one. Below is the complete article. Thank you, Grace, for catching the error.

When some people think of gratitude, they think of the Thanksgiving holiday. But gratitude is so much more than an annual holiday. It’s a way of life that can profoundly impact you.

Just as gratitude can positively affect you, refusing to express gratitude has many adverse effects, including these three problems,

Poor Self-Image

It’s easy to develop a poor self-image when you focus on what you don’t have. For example, Mary’s parents couldn’t afford to get her braces when she was young. As she grew up, she would look in the mirror and focus on how ugly she thought her teeth were.

Over time, this habit led Mary to develop a poor self-image. Instead of seeing herself as a beautiful work of art, she focused on her flaws. The more she focused on her teeth, the less Mary wanted to take care of herself in other areas. It created a loop of negative thoughts that Mary carried everywhere she went.

Difficulty with Forgiveness

Emily was in an auto accident with a drunk driver. Although she survived, the accident left her with long-term nerve damage down the left side of her body. The other driver walked away without a scratch and without ever apologizing.

She waited to have her say in court, only for the other driver to get a light sentence. Emily fell into a deep depression. While she suffered every day in pain, the offender walked free, and his life was barely impacted.

Then one day, Emily wrote a letter she never sent. In it, she forgave the man who had hurt her so deeply. She decided to stop focusing on what the accident had taken from her that day. Instead, she looked at what it gave her—a second chance at life, a new business she loved, and a deeper relationship with her husband.

Negative Mindset

Paying too much attention to what you don’t have can create a negative mindset. It happened to Jody. She followed a leader she admired on Instagram. The woman’s posts seemed to indicate that her life was perfect. She had a beautiful home, a loving husband, a thriving business, and two /beautiful kids.

Over time, Jody became friends with the other woman. She was shocked to learn that the leader’s life wasn’t perfect.

The beautiful house was a rental because theirs destroyed in a hurricane. The loving husband was seriously ill and in need of caregiving. The woman’s children had life-threatening allergies. The thriving business was in the middle of a messy transition.

When Jody asked why the other woman never shared about these things on social media, the woman shrugged, “Despite it all, I feel blessed. Yes, my life is hard, but there’s so much I’m grateful for.”

Don’t allow negativity, bitterness, or a poor self-image to keep you from living your best life. Gratitude is a choice, and it’s one you can make right now, no matter what’s happening around you.

Until tomorrow, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Let’s Design Your Gratitude Challenge

Adding more gratitude into your life doesn’t have to be complicated or challenging. Creating your very own gratitude challenge can be fun and straightforward. Here are three women who used the power of gratitude to change their lives for the better…

21 Days of Gratitude

Helen quit her job at a corporate law firm to become a virtual assistant and stay home with her twin boys. At first, Helen was delighted that she got to work from home and care for her children.

But as time went on, Helen’s client list began to grow, and she started to feel overwhelmed. She felt resentful of her clients and wasn’t sure how to find joy in her work anymore.

Helen’s business coach challenged her to take five minutes each morning to list one perk of working at home. She struggled with the assignment for the first few days. But after a week, it became easier. Helen felt more positive about her business by the end of the challenge.

The change in perspective allowed her to take a step back and look at her brand through a new lens. It helped her take positive action to redesign her business to fit her lifestyle.

30 Days of Thankfulness

Alice was married to a firefighter. When her husband first joined the force, she was excited that he was passionate about his work. But as the years passed, Alice began to feel like she and the children came second.

The more she focused on that thought, she felt angry and resentful. She found herself picking fights with her husband whenever he was home. The more she picked at him, the more her husband withdrew.

When she asked one of the older wives for advice, the other woman recommended that Alice keep a list of reasons she was thankful for her husband each day. Although Alice thought the exercise was silly, she did it.

After a month, she noticed a change in her attitude toward her husband. Now, instead of seeing all of his flaws, she focused on his good qualities like his caring heart, his patience with the kids, and his dedication to their community.

14 Days of Gratitude

After Molly gave birth to triplets, she hated to look in a mirror. All she saw were stretch marks, loose skin, and baby weight. Her boyfriend was supportive of her and told her that he thought her body was beautiful.

When Molly complained about her appearance to her best friend, she recommended that Molly see a counselor since she had a history of an eating disorder. Her friend was worried that the recent changes could lead to a relapse.

Molly followed her friend’s advice and saw a therapist specializing in working with women who struggled with eating disorders. The counselor advised Molly to journal about everything her body could do.

At the end of two weeks, Molly noticed she felt more confident and took better care of herself. Writing about her body in a positive light reminded her of her strength and beauty.

Like the women above, there may be a situation in your life that you are unhappy with. Rather than focus on it, you can take positive action by starting your gratitude challenge.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.