Daily Archives: April 7, 2015
Courtesy of Krista Cogdill, Life shrink’s or expands in proportion to one’s courage. “If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.” Be authentic but not boastful. Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches. (Jer 9:23) Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matt 6:1) Everyone wants to be appreciated but posting on facebook or speaking of your own greatness and achievements can actually say more about you in a negative way, than positive. Although people may not tell you, it reveals insecurity and pride and is seemingly obnoxious. “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2)
I hope you will read this with an open mind and a gentle receiving heart, the same as it is from the one posting it. May it enlighten you to more about life, other women, and yourself. May it encourage you to make changes that will make you feel better about yourself and may it inspire you to be that mentor to younger women struggling to make their way in this troubled world.
There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to take a close look at herself. Not at her circumstance, not at what she did, not how unfair life is or not at who made you do it. She has to just look at herself in all her glory and imperfection.
For many women, this is a scary thing because often times they don’t want to know the truth about themselves. Virtuous women know what I mean.
As women, we have a tendency to water one another down. Maybe it makes us feel good or look better than the next woman. Or maybe we just don’t know how to tell that woman how we admire her.
In reality, we really WANT to look at ourselves and the pain we project towards other women.
Have you ever admired a woman who has been through changes in her life? Or have you made up in your mind that she is just messed up.
Before you make this mistake, take a close look.
The women who have endured the most abuse, mistreatment and/or pain in life are the chosen by God filled of wisdom. Someone who has been chosen by God to go through so that others may be enlightened is a role model for the afflicted.
Think of all the great women in the bible, Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Naomi, The woman with an issue of blood, and Esther, to name a few. Mary was a very uneasy woman.
By the time God was done with her, she was His closest follower. Esther was unfortunate in marrying an abusive man.
By the time God was done with her, she married one of the wealthiest men in the land.
Have you ever admired the strength of a single mother? Or have you made up your mind that it’s too bad she had children on her own.
A single mother knows no bounds when it comes to her children. She is strong and durable. Single mothers are strong, not because she has to be, but because it comes naturally for her to protect the extensions of her very being.
Her love for her children is like that of fuel to a car. Most mothers keep their tanks full because they understand that, if it runs low, you could jeopardize the car and have problems in the long run.
Other women only fill it when it is needed. Their cars usually break down.
Have you ever wondered why some women are not approachable? Or have you made up your mind that she is just mean.
A quiet woman is a smart woman. She is valuable.
She doesn’t go off half-cocked and she won’t be the one to argue with you over nothing. She just may even let you go on “setting her straight” and politely back out without a fight. She doesn’t let many in her world.
After all, she has probably been through the fire and had to rebuild. So why let just anyone in? This is usually the woman that only has “small talk” and knows her place, which is away from all the unnecessary things in life.
Have you ever wondered why that woman is so loud? Well, hey she has a lot to say. These are usually our younger women who have to learn refrain.
They are eager and unsettled. They talk before they think, and they do not think before they talk. They just go.
Have you ever wondered about that woman who appears to have everything, yet is still very unhappy? Well, she doesn’t have everything. She doesn’t have personal validation.
This is something that cannot be bought. This is something developed over many mistakes and challenges that have taught lessons of the unbearable.
Women are so quick to beat the next one down instead of trying to hold her up. Before you wonder, “What’s up with her?” ask yourself, “What’s up with me?” Why do I beat down another woman to build myself up?
That woman could be my mother, sister, aunt, in-law, stepmother, niece, grandmother, great-grandmother, neighbor, friend, co-worker, etc. That woman could just be me.
Women are the carrier of life, not the channel of death. Let’s build and encourage each other, as did Ruth and Naomi.
Encourage and Love, Forgive and Forget, trust that the woman that receives this will be touched in some way.
Peace and Love To You All
~You reign over the unspoken word, once you speak and release it, the unspoken word reigns over you so choose wisely.
“He who is wise will keep an open mind until he has fairly tested the various proofs that are available to him”
To be persuasive, one must be believable;
To be believable, one must be credible;
To be credible, one must be truthful.
My passion for life has always been fueled through serving the needs of others by helping others achieve their dreams. I have found that by helping others I receive paychecks of the heart that money cannot replace, the joy I see on a mothers face when she no longer struggles to feed her family is truly priceless. The relief I see in a woman’s eyes who no longer has that tired look of not knowing how her day was going to end because her future was in the hands of her abuser is what I thrive on because I too was once her. The excitement I hear in a woman’s voice because she has a successful business earning a six-figure income when she remembers a time when she did not know how she was going to pay the rent is simply a blessing. The respect I see in husbands’ eyes for his wife who has grown from a timid girl into a strong, independent, and successful woman is a sight to behold. I have been all of these women. I want this for all of you!
As you come to know me better my hope is that you will feel the pride that I have lived with in my Cherokee heritage. I am active in the Cherokee nation, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary. I specialize in teaching others to become Independent, not co-dependent. I wish to think that my specialty is not as a teacher but as an example.
I choose to live by following the example of Christ rather than lead by ignorance. If you set the example you do not have to set the rule.
Life Mastery From Michelangelo
In 1512, Michelangelo completed the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. If you’ve never had the privilege of seeing this, it is a truly magnificent piece of art; undoubtedly one of the greatest the world has ever seen.
Michelangelo spent four years on this project, all while being in severe discomfort from having to crane his neck skywards day after day when working on it.
And he despised painting…
Yes, Michelangelo looked down on painting, and felt that it was inferior to sculpting, which was his true passion.
Prior to his work on the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo was working diligently on creating the tomb for Pope Julius II, on which he would spend 40 years (albeit off and on)! Julius was constantly reassigning Michelangelo to different tasks during this time, one of which was to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Michelangelo had no intention of doing any such thing. He was a sculptor, not a painter and had no experience with frescoes, the type of painting used on the ceiling. Though, the honorable man that he was, he agreed to take up the endeavor and the rest is history.
Michelangelo’s life fascinates me because of his expertise in an array of disciplines, such as architecture, poetry, sculpting and painting; today we call this a ‘Renaissance Man’.
In addition to that, Michelangelo’s life was filled with experiences and ideas that we could all learn from. Oh yeah, and he had a Ninja Turtle named after him.
Always Be Honing Your Craft
The connection between love and trust.
Although poets and authors have tried to describe love, in the world of neuroscience, researchers have found that the naturally occurring hormone oxytocin and love are intimately related. Often called the love drug, oxytocin plays a role in bonding, maternal instinct, enduring friendship, marriage, and orgasms. Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D., says that oxytocin is a mingling of trust and physical touch, as well as love-making.
And new research tells us that oxytocin can even help us to become more accepting of others. “Oxytocin increases the ability to recognize differences between self and others and increases positive evaluation of others. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that impaired oxytocin signaling may be involved in the development and manifestation of human psychopathologies in which self-recognition is altered.” Oxytocin sharpens self-other perceptual boundary proven by psychoneuroendocrinology.
We can always expect new reseach when it comes to love. Despite Internet claims of Love Portion No. 9 to enhance attraction through chemical oxytocin and pheromones, Dr. Breuning, professor emerita at California State University, and docent at the Oakland Zoo, where she gives tours on mammalian social behavior says:
“Trust is the authentic feeling you have in the presence of a person whom your body senses is safe. That is a good feeling that stimulates oxytocin. When trust is not authentic, your body might give you a message to be careful around that person.
“The expression, ‘got your back’ is overused but it rightly describes a person with whom you can relax your guard because they treat you well or help protect you from a third party,” she said. “With chimpanzees you will see them grooming one another and there is reciprocal trust. If they don’t feel trust, or if a rival or intruder comes too close, that chimpanzee risks having fingers or toes bitten off — even noses or ears.”
Falling for the bad boys
Sometimes, however, grooming is a matter of trust and protection in which the animal appears to be thinking, “If I groom a bigger, stronger monkey, even though it may not be reciprocal, if I’m attacked by a lion, the bigger monkey will protect me.”
Does the protection aspect sound familiar? In relationships, the good girl-bad boy syndrome results in many broken hearts. Women are often attracted to the bad boys because the primal instinct is very strong. They feel that bad boys protect them.
Dr. Breuning says, “A guy with confidence seems powerful. He has that self-important look that women find attractive.”
Another way that oxytocin is stimulated is through love-making, but herein lies a bit of deception. “The oxytocin released through orgasm creates a lot of trust, but only for a short period of time,” she said. “In nature most animals are bachelors, so in the act of love-making they generate an opportunity for trust.
“As with animals, humans enjoy the reward that comes from feeling good after sex. In nature — and sometimes in the world of humans — after receiving their ‘feel good dose’ the males go back to being themselves,” she said, adding, “The female view is very different with this oxytocin release.”
Here is what happens with women. After making love a woman might mistake the oxytocin release for feelings that tell her, “This is your perfect partner.” As Breuning notes, “Despite those initial feelings, it does not necessarily mean that the person is trustworthy. The perception you have at the moment is an illusion you create about the person that may or may not fit what happens next.”
Falling into cynicism, however, is not going to be productive.
Disappoionted in love or in life?
According to Dr. Breuning, writing in Getting Past the Stress of Feeling Slighted:
You can build a new neural pathway in six weeks. You can give the electricity in your brain an alternative place to flow. Every time you find yourself pondering a social disappointment, just shift your attention to another thought. A new pathway will build if you do this every day without fail for six weeks. Beyond Cynical: Transcend Your Mammalian Negativity
In the world of less than positive feelings, for those who really expect that oxytocin can improve their love life, might first take a look at attitude. It seems as if there is an interplay here in terms of love, gratitude, and all the positive feelings that intermingle to create harmonious relationships.
These are things to remember when you want to get married. I know you’re saying “not me” It’s taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud, even in your mind feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you’re hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.
You’ve never dreamt of an aqua-blue or red with gold framing ring box.
Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe a breakup. Your brother’s wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride she was so effing happy and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you’re not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering… Deep, deep breath… Why you’re not married.
Well, I know why.
How? It basically comes down to this: I’ve been married a few times. Yes, more than once or twice. To a very nice Neuro-Surgeon; a very nice college entrepreneur (and pregnant); and at 42, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of deciding to walk away.
I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated, traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I’ve become a sort of life experience expert of relationships, someone who’s had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.
I won’t lie. The problem is not men, it’s you. Sure, there are less than quality men out there, but they’re not really standing in your way. Because the fact is if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on. So without further ado, let’s look at the top six reasons why you’re not married.
1. You’re a Bitch.
Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off.
The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them and appreciates them. I am the aunt of a 15-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here’s what my nephew wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn’t think so. You’ve seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man’s fear and insecurity in order to get married, and surprisingly, it’s perfect, since working around a man’s fear and insecurity is big part of what you’ll be doing as a wife.
2. You’re Shallow.
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.
Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what Manalo Blanik shoes are. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.
3. You’re a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin it doesn’t stay recreational for long.
That’s due in part to this thing called oxytocin, a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm, that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It’s why you can be friends with benefits with some dude who isn’t even all that great and the next thing you know, you’re totally strung out on him and you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that’s how it happened. And since nature can’t discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you’re going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.
4. You’re a Liar.
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he’s not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he’s married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, “I’m not really available for a relationship right now.”
You know if you tell him the truth that you’re ready for marriage he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don’t want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!
About ten minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don’t tell him that. That’s your secret just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends. Instead, you hang around, having sex with him, waiting for him to figure out that he can’t live without you. I have a news flash: he will never “figure” this out. He already knows he can live without you just fine. And so do you. Or you wouldn’t be lying to him in the first place.
5. You’re Selfish.
If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy or at least a guy with a really, really good job would solve all your problems.
However, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It’s not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.
6. You’re Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.
Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won’t love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.
I see this at my nephews artsy, progressive school. Of 182 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you’re trying to be. They’re attractive, sure. They’re just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.
Alright, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.
Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession, a free-agent penis, and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, Disneyland built a world around it.
The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:
Wednesday April, 22 is Earth Day.
Happy Earth Day… The impact of that first Earth Day has been profound. The nation’s air and water have become dramatically cleaner, and lead has disappeared from gasoline while the economy has more than doubled in size. Really, it all began in 1970 with Earth Day, and the ability to have a grassroots movement that demanded that we keep people safe while we continue to grow the economy. We need to hear more voices from minority and low-income communities, which are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards because this is an issue where we need everybody to speak up.
What is Earth Day? Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.
Results of Earth Day 1970
The first Earth Day family had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it “brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform.” It now is observed in 192 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, chaired by the first Earth Day 1970 organizer Denis Hayes, according to whom Earth Day is now “the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year.” Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action which changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.
The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P . Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
20 years later residents remember the Oklahoma City bombing… Nineteen years ago today, a bomb ripped through a federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the worst homegrown terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the attack killed 168 people, shattering the notion that America was largely immune to domestic terrorism. Father forgive them for they know not what they do, please join me in prayer…
Father I come before you today in humble gratitude for sacrificing your son to wash away our sins while teaching us to forgive those that are hardest to forgive and love because we know they are the ones who need it most as you recognize this in us. Father I thank you for sending your son to set the example that we may live by example rather than lead by ignorance, thank you for the challenges presented before us teaching us to appreciate the blessings that come from these tragic events. Thank you for placing angels among us disguised to test our character and father please direct us that we may each continue to search for new ways to be a pleasure in your eyes that you may continue to bless us embraced in your loving grace through the everlasting love of Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Ghost. Father I pray forgiveness that you may welcome those that have not accepted Christ before their passing into your kingdom even if this means I must take their place and even if it means I stand alone. Amen.