Special Delivery: God calling!

Leafing through my mail, I made a mental note to put the mail into three piles.

Urgent, pay now.

  Read later, pay later

   Disregard, useless junk mail.

Habitually, when I retrieve the mail, I always expect the worse: more bills or bad news.

I used to get suckered into opening mail that came in fancy, heavy stock envelopes with fancy gold, calligraphy. Surely, I thought it was a wedding invitation, a party or a birth announcement.

To my chagrin, it was just another clever sweepstakes. “Congratulations, you’ve seen selected as a potential winner of a cruise. If you activate the enclosed card, you’ll be immediately entered into our sweepstakes for a chance of a lifetime!” 

Weary of these schemes, I began to throw out any inconspicuous letter, bill, sweepstakes, and even magazines.

A few months ago, I never imagined that retrieving and disregarding “unwanted” mail would change my life and overhaul my attitude/

I was quickly going through my mail when I stopped. Here was the same envelope I disregarded so many times. I thought, wouldn’t the company soliciting my business get the hint that I WAS NOT INTERESTED?

“Trash,” I said and was about to chuck it.

“Open it,” the voice told me.

“Nah, it’s the same superfluous stuff I don’t want or need,” I reasoned.

“Open it!” the voice insisted.

Reluctantly, I gave in, but not without frowning and yes—rolling my eyes!

To my surprise, I couldn’t believe what I read. “You are entitled to a full refund of money that has been in escrow for you to claim. Since you are no longer an employee, you can claim the full amount. “

     This good news made me sit down and ponder.  “Is this really legitimate? Or, was I being pranked.

Bamboozled.

Or psych!

The next day, I called customer service representative who confirmed via computer the money was there.  The refund steps were too easy.

Click.

Send.

Complete!

Finally, I realized this was the same envelope I chose to ignore for years because of my perception of bad news/disaster.  Inadvertently, I blocked my own blessings!!!

My mind recalled this prayer, we recited in church: I am a Tither.  I bring my tithes into your storehouse. You pour out such blessings, there is not enough room to receive it. We receive jobs and better jobs, checks and bonuses. Gifts and inheritances. Checks in the mail. Bills paid off. (Not verbatim)

Since then, I received similar blessings through the mail. Many days, I remember joking with the mail person, “Don’t bring me any bad news or I’d say “Any checks in the mail?” Today, I know this for sure: I had to control my negative thoughts and words. Why? Because what you perceive, you speak into existence.

Tracy, a friend of mine sent me a spiritual nugget from Proverbs 18:21: “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

Call it God or the Universe, but I believe I learned a valuable lesson through the mail: Whatever, I believe, it manifests itself. These days, I’m reading everything. No more missing a lesson or a blessing

 

 

 

 

 

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Crowd Funding Anyone?

Ask and you shall receive—maybe.

In America, there are still good, generous people or organizations willing to fund an individual, group, businesses, and entrepreneurs dreams/request for monetary funds whether big, small, conventional, traditional, medical, creative or outlandish.

The proper term for personal/organizational campaigning is crowdfunding. There are various sites with the purpose of providing guidance for those who actively seek contributions.  I view crowdfunding much like the popular television show Shark Tank.  Your job is to pitch an idea to donors who financially contribute to your idea/cause via Internet. To me, it’s a win-win situation: you get exposure and funding; while the donors maybe   part of the next big innovative project.

Think of people who’ve made millions coming up with projects and invention.

Remember the Pet Rock invention?

Silly rocks right?

Can you imagine pitching this wacky idea to potential donors?

And your buyers would be whom? Sure!

Turns out, the owner made millions.

The Wilkins Way to Crowdfunding article “The Higher Purpose of Crowdfunding: Making the Impossible Possible,” champions the rewards of crowding.  “Reward crowdfunding makes it possible for designers, artists and entrepreneurs of all sorts to get their ideas in front of a very large crowd. Since you pay for a product that is still on the drawing board, you essentially help to fast-forward revenue streams: Rather than first producing a product and hoping someone will buy it, entrepreneurs “pre-sell” their products, and then use the revenue to move the project into production.”

Want to submit your out-of-box idea? Chances are there are donors willing to take a chance!

Really!

There couples who want seek funding for fertility treatments.

And guess what? People donate.

Why?

To many, it’s a worthy, feel good cause.

Then there are people soliciting funds for individual, family, class trips.

Fugi Islands?

An educational trip to England, for students whose parents cannot fund

Even a honeymoon cruise.

A trip to a 50th high school reunion?

Even a honeymoon trip.

It’s entertaining reading the various causes, endeavors, business projects, films, books and inventions.

Nothing surprises me anymore.

Think you’re up for the challenge?

Give it a shot. You never know.

Dreams can come true. It can happen to even you.

       Looking for Funding possibilities check out this link:

.    forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2013/05/08/top-10-crowdfunding-sites-for-fundraising/

 

 

 

Say What???!!!!

 

A repetitive person is usually clueless they’re repeating themselves to the point of driving helpless listeners—or victims—insane.

Words seems to blur together as they repeat the same thing.

Stories, memories, jokes, may be told different, but, they’re saying the same thing.

AGAIN!

Yikes!!!!

Ever want to hit the “MUTE” button?

What about when the person NEVER TAKES A BREATHE IN BETWEEN?”

Does these one word replies sound familiar?  “Yes. Right. Ok—ay. No. Maybe. Good!”

By now, you’re nodding like one of those bobble head fixtures hoping they’d just, well, shut up.

What if that repetitive person is you?

My children were spot on when they brought this annoying trait to my attention.

You’ve already said that Mom!” they said peeved.

“I don’t care, I’ll say it again!” I spat at them going into Mommy mode.

“Please don’t,” they say in unison.

Most times, there are certain triggers that cause people to repeat themselves such as:

The desire to be heard/acknowledged.

Loquaciousness.

Being the Center of attention

Forgetfulness.

When others started to notice, I got help.

Enter Toastmasters.

Toastmasters International is a club dedicated to helping people improve their communication, presentation and leadership skills. With helpful feedback, people work on their weak areas and learn effective delivery tools to curb weak areas such a repetition, stuttering, filler words (ah, um, well, you know what I mean?) pitch (too fast/too slow) while developing their self-confidence.

It’s done wonders for me.

Need help finding a club? Go to https://towww.astmasters.org/

Mother Realist

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asks an adult or teacher.

“A Mommy!” a 4-year old girl answers enthusiastically.  Even at this tender age, she intuitively  knows there’s something special about being a Mommy.

Oftentimes, girls strives to emulate their Mothers or any female who plays a dominant role in their lives. At school or in their private time, young girls are practicing being Mommies.

We accept, groom and condition our girls to become Mothers. We only prepare them all their lives. But what happens when some women opt out of becoming mothers—by choice?  Family members, friends and even their husband/partners  say there’s something wrong with a woman who deliberately chooses NOT to procreate. Obviously, she flawed, mentally, physically and morally.

Nothing could be farther than the truth.

Mandy, (name changed) a friend of mine for almost 20 years, knew in her early 20s, she didn’t want to have children.  Simply, she never felt that maternal instinct.

“Being a mother is a life-time commitment that requires a lot of personal sacrifice,” she says. “I love children, but not enough to become a Mother. It didn’t feel like a natural fit for me.”

Her family was not supportive of her decision. They tried to convince her that  eventually she’d change her mind.

She didn’t.

“They told me I would feel ‘complete and the maternal instinct would kick in’ but I never wavered.”

Family members, family, friends are notorious for commenting on women’s choice not to bring children in the world.

     “But we want grandchildren!”

     “Your poor husband/partner.”

    “When did you arrive at this decision?”

    “Have you tried counseling?”

     “Children are a blessing!

For many women, they are unwilling to give up their careers.

Another friend of mine, stated that she absolutely loves her career and doesn’t think she could balance motherhood and a thriving career.

“I travel extensively and would be an absentee mother, I already know that,” she sat adamantly. “I make no apologies for my success nor the fact that I don’t want children.”

Today, there are plethora of reasons why women chose not to have children or even postpone having children.

They’re not a caretaker type.

Marriage isn’t for them.

Single motherhood is not an option

It’s not financially feasible.

The bottom line:  Remaining childless is a woman’s prerogative.

I love Mandy and told her many times she’s my hero for realizing beforehand that motherhood was not for her.

Initially, I was surprised.  I thought both of us would be Mothers together, have play dates, swap stories and share life-long memories.

Once she explained it to me, I was fully supportive of her decision and even cheered her bravery.

“I cannot fathom why women (or parents) have children who they don’t want or love and screw children up for life! ” she says incredulously.

Kudos to Mandy and other women who are realist.  These women were given the wonderful gift of acknowledging who they are and what they don’t want: children.  I salute women who are not willing to succumb to their family and society’s pressure to have children to “fit in” or “fill this imaginary women’s role.” Thank you for being honest and saving children from being neglected, unloved and unappreciated.

What’s the Relevance?

“Hey Jar, “ I say oh, so sweetly to my son, whom I affectionally see as my personal computer pundit.

“Yes, Mom?” he answers in an exasperated voice, then rolls his eyes.

He already knows what’s coming.

“Can you help me figure this out on the computer?” I say pointing to the blinking/frozen, weird error message on the screen.

Translation: “FIX IT FOR ME NOW!”

He leans over me and magically clicks or holds down some buttons. Wella! Problem solved.

Instantly, I’m relieved—that is until the next time I run into a snafu.

Knowing my track record—there’ll be a next time.

Guaranteed.

Poor Jar, you’re probably saying, as I said for the hundredth time to the both.

I’ve grown far too complacent in my laziness to figure anything computer related by MYSELF.

But, I’m not alone, I reason.

Remember that famous (old) Life Cereal commercial about Mikey will do it/Mikey Likes It?  The commercial point: Get anyone—preferably someone young, gullible and willing to do it/try it/save us.

And what parent hasn’t said jokingly: That’s why we have kids! Who hasn’t fallen back on these tactics?

Making your children retrieve the remote control?

Taking out the garbage?

Getting our children to say we’re not home? (C’mon, it’s not just me!)

Go to the store?

Add turning into lazy parents who feign “senioritis” so we can get computer or Social Media assistance.

I even heard seniors/grandparents say they’ll even enlist the help of a savvy 5-year old who’s knowledgeable about everything their not.

It’s got to be maddening for Jar.

“Can you just look at this?” I’ll plead to Jar.

“Ma, it’s easy, watch. Pay attention,” my son says as he demonstrates.

“Oh, “I say quite shamefaced.

As parents/seniors we have to challenge ourselves to not only learn something new, but to be relevant.

Relevancy basically means keeping abreast about new subjects, computers, world trends, innovative equipment to make our lives easier and manageable—with little or no assistance.

There are some benefits to learning new things, be, whether individually or with others. That’s where enrolling in classes really helps.  Believe it or not, learning something sharpens our brain and boosts our confidence.  Today, there’s a plethora of seniors enrolled in adult education courses offered at colleges, technological colleges and senior citizens centers and even libraries with one motive: the joy of learning something new!

The Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Adults 50-plus”, an article on About. Com states these added incentives of learning new skills includes improved memory, socialization, save money on DIY projects and new skills can equal new money opportunities.

Think about it:  The more we learn, we can teach others and charge for our newly acquired skills!

Learning these new things can be daunting/overwhelming—especially computers and especially when computers are ever changing. Just when you finally, finally get down the Windows X, here comes Window 10 and you’re the version you learned is now antiquated!

 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! Say it isn’t so!

The good news: There are classes geared for learning—or at least familiarization of Social Media, Smart Phone/Black Berry Usage, Remote Controlled gadgets and Tablets.

With that in mind, I’ve eradicated excuses and challenge myself to stay abreast and get on it—as in enroll in classes—TODAY.

 

 

 

 

Hating the hater in me

 

”My name is LaLinda and I’m a hater,” I confess in my new MasterLife Class February 2015.

“Say what?” my fellow responded in unison as they busted into gaggles of laughter.

Confession time it was not. MasterLife is an extensive 6-month study/journey about discipleship and its expectations. Simply, the facilitator asked us to introduce ourselves and talk about what we hoped to personally get out of the class.

Truthfully, I was trying to be funny, but at the same time be transparent. Once the laughter subsided, I replied that my specific purpose (among many) was to work on my “hater qualities” that occasionally overrides my judgment. Specifically, I wanted to focus on self-control, so I could see people/situations objectively. The real culprit was perception.

Whew!

Who doesn’t know a hater?  Tell me who hasn’t encountered a hater or the hated?  So, what exactly is a hater? Here’s a reference.

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 doesn’t 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?

 

In my “hating episodes–as I call them—stemmed from comparison and my personal trigger was not being where I wanted to be professionally.

 

For 3 years I worked as a Pre-Kindergarten Paraprofessional. Suffice it to say, working with 22 4-year olds was not my calling.  Three years prior, I was unemployed, my son was sick and I had to pay bills, I took the job—with the hopes it would be short term. I was underpaid—even though I had two degrees; undervalued, degraded and felt unappreciated.

 

I hated/envied anyone whom I perceived who was able to “easily” get a job or had the “ideal” job. Sure, hate would crop up in other areas, but I was so obsessed with having a good job.

 

Hate and resentful I used interchangeably when describing a person or situation. Jill, who is a friend of mine and spiritual counselor gave me another word to ponder: Entitlement.

 

She said: You feel entitled to having all the things you worked for and cannot understand why you’re not getting the things you worked for or prayed for, so inwardly, you’re longing for something you think is not attainable or hasn’t shown up yet.”

 

And today, my favorite author and Iyanla Vansant summed up exactly how to deal with the feeling of hate/lack and envy. “The quickest way to block your in-flow of good is to begrudge someone else what they have. There are three principles of prosperity we must observe to ensure we receive our good: (1) Ask for what you want, (2) Give what you want away, (3) Be willing to see someone else get what you want before you do. When we follow these principles, we demonstrate our faith that no matter what we have, there is more than enough to go around.”

 

Purging this “hate attitude” still takes work. Today, I accept God’s still working on me—from the inside out—and what’s to hate about that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Friend or Unfriend–that is the dilemma!

“Ma, you have to stop commenting on my every posts on Facebook,” my son texts me.

“What in the world?” I say aloud as I re-read the text.

“Huh?” I respond, totally perplexed.

“Ma, it’s annoying and smothering,” He texts.

My son’s favorite phrase of “It’s all good,” tells me it isn’t.

So much for writing one word responses such as :Agreed! Amen! Right! Great! Nice! Sweet! And the latest kicker: Dope! A compliment I used to describe the movie “Straight Out of Compton” a term used by the rappers.

I got it. He clearly said he was uncomfortable; therefore, I made a quick decision.

“Feel free to unfriend me,” I texted back. Then I thought back to a few years ago, when my son and I were “friends” on Facebook, but I unfriended him.

Why? His content—I’ll leave it at tha

Ten minutes the phone rings.  To my relief, it’s a friend who has had similar experiences with her daughter

“Girl, these young people are a mess on their Facebook page,” she shared. “The key is to read but not to comment.”

Now, I’m really confused.

Long story short: Unfriend, she tells me because it cuts out a lot of confusion, stress, hurt feelings and privacy issues.

Having pondered this further, I could see my fault by “inadvertently invading” his privacy and “creativity” as an adult.

So, I sent him a text and told him that I think its best if we unfriend each other.

Do I hear a sense of relief as in “Sure, Ma,” he says only too quickly.

I’m laughing now at the idea of being unfriend—or am I permanently blocked?  Privacy does have its privileges.

Since I haven’t unfriended anyone in years (come to think of it make that two people) I Googled “How to Unfriend Someone” on Youtube and up pops a plethora of tutorials.

Happy Unfriending my friend!

 

 

Got the Pink Slip?

The Donald says it like nobody else can: “You’re fired!.”
Ask any working professional, what’s your biggest fear? Being fired!
Terminated
Let Go.
Getting the Pink Slip.
So, how does one recover from being fired?
For one, not many people talk about being fired. It’s definitely a no-no.
Others think that being fired or asked to voluntarily resign, equates failure.
Depression and prolonged anger are not uncommon symptoms.
A friend of mine told me she was once fired without any warning or provocation.
“Just hearing the word fired sent me in an emotional tailspin,” she said. “It was equivalent to being shocked when you’re told about a death. You’re just unprepared, especially when there’s no warning”
While it may or may not be your fault, this Alternet article entitled “It’s Easy To Get Fired In America: In 49 of 50 States, You Can Be Fired For Any Reason” sure educated me.
Surprisingly, employees can be let go on a whim and Not protected by law! No probable cause or justification needed or required to be terminated.. Even constitutionally, employees have no legal recourse.
The article states: “Most Americans can be legally fired for almost any reason. Private sector workplace relationships tend to operate under the standard of employment-at-will, which means you can be fired for the color of your shirt, your political views, supporting your favorite sports team or for refusing to fetch your boss a cup of coffee. The Bill of Rights does not apply to your office.”
I know just hearing this you’re probably thinking “Great, I have to walk on eggshells now,” or “So, if my boss has a bad day, I’m fired? Are you serious?”

Good News:  Being fired just may mean you’ve been given a second chance/wind to improve your life.

It may mean time to take an assessment of your other talents, or perhaps it was just the opportunity you needed to live your true dreams. What about that entrepreneurial dream you shelved? Is this a good time to volunteer while taking a mental break? By exploring,  a totally new field, you may find there’s less stress and new excitement doing something different. Whatever you do, don’t stay idle which leads to depression. Below is a link to help you cope. Smile!

.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/05/24/how-can-one-recover-from-being-fired/