CHANGE YOUR MIND

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I want to challenge you to challenge yourselves today.  Can you teach yourself to unlearn all of the prejudices you’ve kept over the years?  Try to shed a layer of your old thinking everyday.  This takes time and practice.  Work on seeing those around you with new eyes regardless of the color of their skin, the size of their lips, the texture of their hair, their sexual preference, whether they’re rich or poor and regardless of the God they pray to. Change your mind.

6 Degrees of Separation

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Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.   (Frigyes Karinthy, 1929). (Wikepedia)

With this concept in place, it is very important that we handle each and every one of our current relationships with care.  Many of us have had loves that we’ve lost because of a petty argument, a misunderstanding or something far bigger than can be explained. Too often we’ve learned to resolve issues in a hurtful or unproductive way.  It is better to end relationships on a positive note or to at some point reconcile with loved ones be it family or friend.

With only 6 degrees of separation between us, you never know when paths will cross again.

 

BORN WEAK – A poem for the abused

You told me no one wanted me and that I was weak and worthless

You cursed me and punched when all I wanted was your tender caress

I cried from my mouth, heart and soul for mercy from the heart

You smiled and spit my face; you never loved me from the start

You thought I was born weak.

I would huddle up in fear and hide myself from your punishment

Not realizing the longer I stayed I’d be in this predicament

My entire being was fragile and I bled for your love

I was sleeping with my enemy who once seemed pure as a dove

You thought I was born weak.

All along there was something brewing in my spirit.  It had the strength of a thousand soldiers, I felt and embraced it.

You tried to suppress this strength and keep me in your grasp.

But I got away from you, my true enemy your face has been unmasked.

You thought I was born weak.

A victim pinned down and whipped by the the oppressor, I felt less than dirt.

The transformation has begun; I’m stronger than titanium and I know my worth.

You didn’t create me so you don’t own me.  I’m not yours to abuse.

I am free as a bird on air, born of strength and I will never again be misused.

Author:  Sabuwrah Kennedy

 

THE STORM CLOUDS & BELLOWING WINDS OF LIFE

Life happens in cycles.  You can be on Cloud 9 for a season where it seems everything is going well for you.  You’re on top.  Then in a moment you’re at ground zero; back at the bottom; trying to endure hardship.  No one has a perfect life, not even the affluent.

The burdens and mishaps of life can be overwhelming.  And for some, long-term.  When life knocks you down, please try to remember that it’s only a temporary state of being.  If you persevere and stand up to the bellowing winds that come your way, you’ll be stronger in the end.   Eventually the storm clouds will move out of sight as they always do.  Clear skies will welcome you to continue better and more determined to succeed than ever before.

Banana Nut Bread Recipe

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Crisco shortening shared (for lightly greasing the pans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease three 8″ x 3 7/8″ x 2 15/32″ foil loaf pans with Crisco shortening.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar; mix with a fork and set aside.

Mash all 4 of the bananas with a fork in bowl.  With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk attachment, mix the bananas until they become soft with little chucks. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; mix well and scrape down the sides of the bowl continuing to mix until the ingredient’s consistency is similar to pudding.

Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; do not over mix. Fold in the nuts with a spoon or spatula.  Pour the batter into the pre-greased pans half-way full in each pan. Give the pans a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

Bake for roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Rotate the pan periodically to ensure the bread browns evenly.

Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes.  Then turn the bread upside down on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting / serving.  To keep bread moist, wrap loaves or slices in plastic wrap.  Great for breakfast and after-noon snacking.

You’re All I Need To Get By: The Importance of Emotional Support

I will never forget the feeling of joy and pride when as a little girl I’d see my mother sitting in the audience of my school plays.  I felt that I wanted to perform at my best.  I wanted to show her what I learned.  I wanted to make her proud.  I also remember the times when my mother couldn’t make it because of work or because she’d already taken off too many days to attend my sisters’ performances or to care for us when we were sick.  You see, my mother was a single parent of three.  She had to spread herself thin in order to emotionally support us all in these moments.  As a child I told her I understood her absence, but I didn’t.  If she wasn’t present, I found myself continuously searching for her in the crowd until the performance was over.  It was a very unsettling feeling.  At times I felt worthless.

Today I want to share the importance of supporting your loved ones emotionally.  Not only should we be there for our children and our partners but we should support our siblings, parents, other family members and friends.  Being there for someone shows them that they’re important and worth your time.  Most of us lead very busy lives and cannot always show our support physically. There are other ways to show emotional support such as a phone call of interest or encouragement, a friendly card in the mail, a kind text message or even a Face Book like or comment.  Show someone you care today by spreading love and emotional support.  You never know how your support can impact someone else day or life.  You may be all they need to get by.

Food Substitutions for Everyday Living

DO DON’T
Brown rice White rice
Water Soda
100% Juice Fruit Drinks
Pasturized American Cheese Processed Cheese Food
Brown Sugar or Honey White Sugar
Fresh Fruit Canned Fruit
Fresh Vegetables Canned Vegetables
Wheat Bread White Bread
Fresh Meat Packaged cold cuts of meat
Fresh Pizza Frozen Pizza
Fresh Cucumbers Pickles
Baked Fish / Baked Chicken Fried Fish / Fried Chicken

A Bitter Heart Eats Its Owner

When dealing with issues of the mind, body and spirit, all things begin with the mind.  In order to change anything, you must first change your mind.

  • Realization: Realize that you have a bitter heart that is keeping you from happiness and progression.  Change your mind about how you want to handle your heart.
  • Decisions: Decide that you’re going to deal with your issues head on.  Decide that you deserve happiness and that you’ll be happy.
  • Facing your issues: Delve into the things that have made you a bitter person.  Think about your adolescence, your parents, where you live, your religion, relationships, employment and situations that have hurt you. What are the things you resent?
  • Accountability: Once you pinpoint all of your issues, take accountability for the role you’ve played in your circumstances.  Sometime you have to point a finger at yourself. What have you done to contribute to your unhappiness?
  • Challenge: Take the challenge to heal from your past and release your resentments.  This may require counseling or serious self-help.
  • Commitment: Make a commitment to God and yourself that you will shed the layers of the old you.  Commit to change.
  • Self-Check: When you find yourself doing or thinking in your old ways, combat them by instantly doing or thinking positive.
  • Constructive Criticism: Many times it hard for us to see who we are.  Sometimes it take someone else to call us out on our issues.  Be open to it.
  • Perspective: Change the way you see things.  Everything and everyone is not bad.  The world is not against you.  Find good in things around you.  Change your negative perspectives into positive ones.
  • Your Environment: Place yourself in an environment of positive vibes.  Engage with positive people.  Surround yourself with motivational messages and things that’ll remind you that you’re on a journey in letting go of your bitter heart.

To Give Or Not To Give?…That Is The Question

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Most of us weren’t born of privilege.  We’ve had to work long and hard for our earnings.  Adulthood is a major responsibility.  It is not easy to manage life, family, your home, taxes, bills, work and everyday expenses.

But now that we’ve arrived, we must face the challenges before us to the best of our ability.  Life’s pressures can become insurmountable.  At times we need financial help.  Most of us have been in situations where we’ve asked someone for help or someone has asked us for help.  No one is immune to the low points in life.  Asking for help and receiving it can be beneficial.

Someone once told me that it is always better to give a hand up than a hand out.  In short, be discretionary when you’re asked for financial help.  Consider the amount, the reason, if you can afford to give and if you should or should not.  Consider whether you’re enabling a situation by putting a band-aid on it or actually healing an issue.

If you’ve learned to respect the dollar by managing your finances then continue to do that.  You’ve come to understand that money should never be taken for granted.  Be proud of what you’ve learned and applied to your life.

Many have not come to the realization that budgeting and saving should be paramount in daily living.  And if you allow them to, those who don’t follow these practices will use you. The taker normally doesn’t consider themselves a user.  In their minds, it’s just a favor. They assume you have the financial means and figure it is your responsibility to give to them for whatever reason.

What they should realize is that you have financial means because you’ve worked hard.  You’re responsible and you make sacrifices when it comes to spending.  You’ve learned that money comes and it goes quickly and that managing it well will keep you afloat in the worst of times.

If you choose to give, then do it from your heart but not out of guilt or pressure.  Don’t allow others to dictate how you’ll handle your monies.  If you continuously give without discretion then one day you just might end up on the asking end of the hand and not the giving end.