Category Archives: Economics

Why take the 90 Day Mental Fitness Challenge??

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While reading one of my favorite “cyber mentors” blog this morning, Bob Burg discussed having a weak or strong team is a direct result of leadership who surround themselves with superior people.   Of course my experience has been extremely positive.  As with all good resources, his blog got me to thinking.  Trust me, you want to associate with people who cause you to think, not just think tell you what to think.  Here was some my response:

Of course Bob you know my greatest examples are Orrin Woodward #6 & Chris Brady #11 on the World Leadership Guru Top 25 List!! Their examples have definitely trickled down & continue to saturate throughout our entire organization. I listened to a CD by Orrin yesterday back to back because it totally resonated in so many areas. Since 2006 I’ve become a hungry student in so many areas. Who would have ever put a conversation about politics or economics with me in the same room, much less contributing to & enjoying it! 😉

I went onto thinking how following such men & women of influence have impacted many areas of my world.  Without this association, I don’t want to even begin to imagine where I would be.  I would’ve never developed a passion for reading or taught my singles Sunday School class out of “You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader” by Mark Sanborn. Through those principles, our band of singles had the most leaders within the adult ministry structure!! This was ministry, what about family? How does something like this affect family?  Because our organization has a top 5 book list, I was able to refer “Personality Plus” to my daughter, Summer, in an effort to deal with my beautiful, strong-willed, granddaughter.  Shortly after, Summer & husband, Russell, pastored a church in Arkansas where other TEAM biz partners happened to attend. They decided to teach a weekly  adult class on personalities in an effort to develop better relationships within the church. This past weekend I suggested my daughter re-read the chapter on cholerics!! Said granddaughter is now 9!

One of my favorite family examples comes from my son.  Summer married a few years after my divorce leaving Bryce & I to live at least 14 years discovering the glorious ins & outs of single parenting.  My only regret is not having been exposed to all the amazing information I now have access to during those painful experimental years.  Anyway….. back to my favorite example right?  I was driving to Arkansas to spend Christmas with  Summer when Bryce called me. We had celebrated Christmas early & I gave him 3 books with an assignment to read, write book reports & he would get the remainder of his Christmas gift of cash. He wasn’t happy, but loved cash!  He chose “The Anatomy of Peace” by the Arbinger Institute as his first book. During this call, his first question to me was, “Did the mom & son characters in this book remind you of me & you?”  I spent the next 2 hrs. of my journey conversing with him about the book.  This made the trip better not just that the roads were dreary, dark, & icy, but I just loved discussing it with him.  He renamed the characters with people he associated with in his every day life enabling him to relate to it better.   His full-page book report was amazing & stated everyone in the world needs to read this book.  Of course I carefully chose that book because it taught me a valuable lesson on how to communicate with Bryce. I was obviously failing & falling short in that category!  Sadly I must admit, I was the character of the mom to a “T.”

Story after story follows in how books, CDs, & associations with quality leaders have helped thousands develop character, integrity & the fortitude necessary to not only cope & survive, but develop other leaders & thrive.  Marriages have been restored, families have been strengthened, finances have been controlled, debt irradiated & much, much more.  My life has completely changed.  I strive constantly & continually to improve developing  into the person God designed me to become.

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones (fabulous books too!) stated, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.– Charles William Eliot

Recently LIFE launched, what we believe to be, the most brilliant expedition yet!  The testimonies discussed in the paragraph above are multiplying across the nation.  Average people have accepted the challenge & are realizing this is an asset they can use in every area of their lives.  I encourage you to take the 90 Day Mental Fitness Challenge.  After taking the self-test, order the pack which includes three phenomenal books & thought-provoking CD’s.  During the 90 days, you will associate with amazing people through Challenge groups & experience for yourself the opportunity for a  lifetime of change.  It is only the beginning of change & as I came to realize 6 years ago, will be the greatest decision you ever make.  We are quick to engage in fitness for our bodies, while neglecting our most valuable asset, our minds.

I hear people all the time saying, “You can’t change the way things are, just accept them.”  This statement tugs on my last reserve of self-control forcing me to answer with emotional intelligence…nicely!  Together we can begin to change ourselves & assume responsibility for change within our family.  As a family we contribute to the change of our community.  The effect of change within communities will infiltrate into our towns or cities.  Cities taking responsibility & instituting change are catalysts for causing change within our state.   States will reinforce such change through influence with other states.  As a whole, states will bind together & foster change within our nation.  Nations will unite wherefore changing our world.  When we look at the HUGE picture it can be overwhelming.  When we practice incremental changes as defined in the book, “The Slight Edge,”  change occurs.  I didn’t do this purposely, but doesn’t this sound like how our precious United States became the resilient nation it is.  A few brave men & women accepted their duty to change so others, you & I,  would experience freedom & liberty.  Can you institute this challenge in your church?  Support group?  Book club?  Of course you can!  As one of my favorite historic characters stated: “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Sir Winston Churchill.  Legacy can begin with you!

Be the ripple & pay it forward.

Blessings,

g

Enroll in the 90 Day MFC, using # 61244967

Who are we not to?

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ImageBeing involved in a leadership development organization allows me the opportunity to utilize otherwise wasted time to invest in my self-directed education.  Let’s face it, we all lead busy lives.  I inventoried the time I have in a 24 hour period & determined where I could cut activities out which do not get me closer to my goals.  I love listening to music.  Pandora is currently playing my favorite genre selections of ’80’s, soft rock, country & instrumental right now.  In the morning while getting ready for work was time I could carve music out of my routine & plug into some amazing teaching CD’s.  This time, along with traffic time, is dedicated to feeding my psyche & not my emotions.  Over the past 6 years I have been educated in areas including politics, economics, relationships, finances, leadership, living my dash & leaving a legacy.  If you would’ve told me 10 years ago I’d be comfortable enjoying  a conversation about economics with anyone, I’d have to question what substance you’d been on!  Seriously, certain (most) subjects were met with rolled eyes & fell on deaf ears.  The only thing that changed where I was then & who I am now is associating with people hungry to learn, grow, change & make a difference in the world.  I became a hungry student & love the quote, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

This morning I was listening to a CD & this comment caught my attention.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  — Marianne Williamson

While all of it was brilliant, the one sentence that burned in my spirit was, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”  WOW!  When we buy self-sabotaging excuses daily, who does it serve?  I’m fat! I’m single! I’m middle class! I’m not popular! I’m……insert your excuse here……. WHAT?  What could possibly carry any weight against the paragraph above?  Nothing!  All of these excuses can be converted to empower yourself & others.

I invite you to join me & others in taking the 90 Day Mental Fitness Challenge.  Locating where you are, where you want to be & what it takes to get there is a vital step in the right direction.  Self evaluation is a critical & often an overlooked or avoided test we should all take at different life intervals.

I recently watched the movie, The Help & adore one of the lines, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

You IS!

Blessings,

g

Restoring the joy of giving through pattern interruption

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I love Mondays!  I love Mondays!  I love Mondays!  What I focus on expands so…… I am practicing expanding my love for Mondays!  I had to share a quick post about a tiny portion of  my morning with you. I work for a non-profit organization who is responsible for placing Angel Trees throughout cities nationwide.  I, however, work in a department processing grants & contracts for funding throughout the Texas Division.  It’s not rocket science, but we are two totally different ends of the spectrum.   For some reason, most complaint calls regardless of the nature, are forwarded to our department.  I believe it is because we are very resourceful & truly dedicated to helping humanity. I say “we”  loosely because my boss is the best person for running interference.

With that being said, this morning I received a call from a dear, sweet lady who was extremely concerned & overly frustrated regarding an “Angel” she adopted from one of our many DFW Angel Trees.  Immediately I thought this call should be forwarded to someone more equipped to handle this situation.  Then she told me her dilemma.  The child is 7 yrs. old & his “want” was a hand-held game.  She quickly explained almost every Angel she viewed on the tree wanted a MP3 player except this one.  She continued to tell me how guilt ridden she is because she has looked at EVERY store possible & can’t find a DS or other hand-held game consoles.  Of course she interjected the obstacles of her disabilities, traffic, busy stores, the price, extra games &  how she couldn’t stand the fact that this 7 yr. old wouldn’t have his wish if she couldn’t find it.  The words frustrated, guilt, overwhelmed, & guilt, kept coming up in conversation.  Did I mention guilt?  As I listened to her, I carefully wanted to help bring her back into the true focus of Christmas & the goodness she displayed for adopting an Angel.  Once she finished explaining, I thanked her for picking an Angel off one of our trees & emphasized how much I appreciated her supporting our organization, but most of all blessing the life of a child.  Guilt was again mentioned & I explained that guilt was her choice.  This was nothing we remotely wanted her to feel or experience.  I suggested other gifts similar to hand-held games & explained the child was 7.  I confided, from my experience,  my own children would make out their lists & there were more times than not, when they didn’t receive all on the list.  I inquired about her children & how she personally handled this.   I suggested other shopping venues that offered a bundle which included games & console.  Most of all I listened & reminded her the guilt & frustration was not the reason for the season.  The joy of giving should be the dominate force, not guilt.  I mentioned the frustration & anxiety she feels right now is not the expectation for my organization as we would not want it to hinder her from adopting another Angel next year.  She quickly explained this was her yearly practice.  I attempted to help her see what she would feel next year if she continued this emotional roller coaster ride instead of enjoying the reason she has this practice.  At every turn, I tried to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Another very hard subject was to discuss the following months ahead if the child did receive a game console requiring new games.  Could the parent supply additional games or would they be at the mercy of yet another  opportunity to provide them?  Was there something just as enjoyable that wouldn’t require a financial commitment to maintain?  There is cyclic behavior we are attempting to break & something as simple as a game forces this behavior to continue.  I wasn’t trying to damper the spirit of giving, but offering an alternate solution that would also assist the parent.

Our conversation continued as I helped her understand her heart & motives were pure, & again thanking her for participating in this beautiful seasonal opportunity.  The frustration & guilt were robbing her of the pure joy she deserved to experience as the reflected what the child would experience upon opening his gift.  I shared the indescribable feeling I treasure  from years of watching children during Angel Tree distribution times. Working with volunteer fire department staff, as they lovingly joined their hearts to ours, is a priceless moment in time never to be taken from me! Seriously as I write these words, tears fill my eyes as I can see the precious faces of children elated with joy & happiness.  That is something I wish everyone could personally experience.  I assured her whatever she decided upon, her chosen Angel would have a smile & a warm feeling of gratitude in his little heart knowing he was special enough for someone to pick him.  Isn’t this what we want to accomplish?

We laughed & by the end of the conversation, she felt at peace & was very thankful I helped her.  You know what?  I’m glad too.  I realized I could have forwarded the call, it would have gone to someone’s voicemail [this is our busiest time of year & everyone directly or indirectly involved with Angel Tree Distribution is crazy busy], & her emotions would have escalated.  Or she could have gotten in touch with someone who had dealt with a million calls by 10am. Quite possibly this person would not have been prepared or equipped to re-frame the spiraling emotional minefield this person felt.   I was never equipped to understand or intervene with this method until I began learning & growing personally through LIFE, an amazing leadership & personal development organization. When you take the time to  pattern interrupt a situation, diffuse it at the root cause, resolve can then be accomplished.  The initial heart motive is illuminated, as in this case, the pure joy of giving shines as that faithful star shined ever so brightly from the heavens leading Kings & shepherds to our greatest gift.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Merry Christmas & Blessings for a prosperous New Year!

g

If we must protest, protest ignorance.

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Last week my BFF’s & I attended the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for a GNO event.  Traffic was blocked at several locations for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.  I had heard this happening in NYC, ATL, & now it was in my home town.  I have to admit, I was completely ignorant as to why this was going on.  As we passed the protesters, I read their signs & watched their passionate attempts to have their voices heard.  The Dallas PD was doing a great job as well with traffic, crowd control, etc.

In the next few days I Googled the term, 99% and found this site that helped me understand some of the reasons for the protesting.  As I scrolled through reading the comments one caught my attention.  I guess the reason it did was because the writer resonated many of my similar beliefs.  I realized at that point, I too, was a protester.  However, quite different from the ones that stand on the corners of Wall Street or other government buildings across the nation.  I believe the type of protesting I support is the fiber of what will truly make a difference in our nation.  Let me explain.

Many of the comments made in the referenced web site complained about missed opportunities, loss of jobs, inability to purchase homes, unfair treatment from the government, bank bailouts, capitalism, the rich getting richer & etc.  As I read, I realized years ago I used to chime in on such convos, but today I will not entertain being a part of them.  Instead of being part of the problem, I am becoming a part of the solution.  Following men such as Orrin Woodward & Chris Brady,  who develop leaders globally, I have learned many of the problems we tend to blame on the government are self-inflicted.  In reading & listening to the audio, “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” I understand historical beginnings of government control on money.  Gaining new information from credible sources have helped me learn how to alleviate my position as a “victim” of society & become a catalyst for change.  I am a protester against why our nation is disseminating before our eyes.

How can such change occur?  Simple.  Everyday practices done in small increments over time compound into affecting a person, community, generation & nation.  Slight edge mentality develops long-term results in every area of our lives. How much more do you think these changes will make a difference as opposed to public protesting?  A closer look at this quote reveals how:

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

Imagine, if you will, a small group of committed people practicing these methods stamping out the ignorance of how to live sensibly. 

A. Live within your means & begin to eliminate debt-all of it! Sit down & write out all of your monthly expenses paying attention to all purchases made within a three-month period.  There are little “foxes” that spoil the vine when it comes to sucking the life out of your income.  Such “foxes” that virtually go unnoticed are vending machines, coffee shops, convenience stores, unreturned video rentals,  purchases that allow a year or more to begin payment toward the balance, credit cards of any kind,  eating out for breakfast, lunch & dinner  during the week, smoking, alcohol, & other vices.  Mint.com, a free service, keeps me posted on purchases dividing them into categories.  Once you discover all the areas you spend money, begin targeting what you can carve away. If 50% of all marriages that end in divorce are largely because of financial stress & differences, what percentage can be eliminated when we resolve debt?

1.       Bring your lunch to work. Stop the fast food frenzy!  Your wallet, health & waistline will love you for it!  If you must stop & purchase coffee, I suggest McDonald’s.  Great coffee, great prices. This is the ONLY thing I purchase from there!  When eating out in a restaurant, drink water instead of tea or coke (I’m from the south where everything is coke first, & then you say what kind!)  Share a meal with a friend.  Did you know it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that it’s full?  Do you realize how much food you can consume before that happens?  Seriously…..portion control helps your body & wallet!

2.      When you stop to get gas, don’t go inside. Pay at the pump to avoid purchasing the junk causing your total to creep beyond the necessary.  You stopped for gas!

3.      If you need furniture, appliances or other major purchases, save & pay cash for it.  We live in a micro-wave, self-entitlement dispensation of time & this mentality has caused people to falter in their basic responsibilities of food, clothing & shelter.  There are terrific places where I live that  offer the same exact furniture at half price or less than that found at those “wholesale to the public” places offering extended credit terms.  When it comes to major purchases, I’m a research shopper.  This has paid off for me tremendously.  If you can’t pay your rent, chances are when that payment comes due, you won’t make it either.  Go even deeper than this….do you really need it?

4.      Vices can include smoking, drinking, nails, hair, spas, etc.  I have a business partner that realized he could have purchased a ticket to one of our leadership conventions with the money he spent on cigarettes.  I admire him so much for making the choice to stop smoking.  His lungs, heart, body & bank account will reveal the harvest of doing so.  Local beauty schools offer hair cuts at reduced prices.  Learning how to color your own hair or having a friend to help will benefit all involved. Set goals for other things once you have paid debt down or carved some of the other areas out of your budget if there are “must haves” in your life.

5.      Purchase used vehicles.  Vehicles depreciate the second you drive off the lot.  Reading the book, The Millionaire Next Door, enlightens us on how first generation millionaires live.  It was amazing what I realized when I read that book.  Having to have the appearance of being rich has caused us to become broke.  The wealthy don’t care about appearance.  In paying cash for used vehicles, you also save on insurance which can be applied to other areas of debt. Please be careful of the kind of used car you buy because as parts need to be replaced, you don’t want that to be a “fox.”  Mentor with someone before purchasing.

6.      Utilities can be a tremendous area of savings.  Go wind!  Use smart meters when available. If you live in a power vacuum, MOVE!  I live in a well insulated loft & never once used my heat during the winter.  Even when we were shut in due to the snow, I never used it.  There were 2 months that I actually had a credit on my utility account.  Sweet right?  I have to admit, I was the woman who would never, ever adjust the thermostat when I left for the day.  During the heat wave this summer, I complied with the request from our loft manager concerning adjusting thermostats to 85 when we left for work.  You know what happened?  Every time I got home, my thermostat was never above 76 degrees.  It was comfortable & I lowered it only when I went to bed.  I also unplug everything I can reach. This has made a huge difference.  These are the type of adjustments you make & put the extra money toward other debt & maybe you can squeeze in something you can’t live without.  Not both, either –or!

7.       Commute to work.  I never rode on public transportation until I worked a nursing strike assignment in San Francisco.  On the few days I was off, during the month there, I rode the BART.   My friends in La were very concerned for me, but when I saw elementary school children & the elderly riding it daily, I felt safe.  The first time gas prices spiked to almost $4/gallon, I asked if our workplace offered reduced bus passes.  Several of us decided to partake & it changed my daily commute costs.  Instead of being stuck in Dallas traffic, I could relax & leave the driving to someone else.  Many apartment complexes are on the public transportation lines.  Save gas, contribute to lowering the carbon footprint, resist road rage & take a nap if you want.  It is also the greatest harvest field to encourage hurting people.

8.      Cable, dish network, etc.  Get rid of it all!  How much do you currently pay in these areas?  How much are you short each month once all bills are paid?  This is a huge “fox” stealing not only money from your budget, but precious family time.  The average father spends 38 seconds a day looking into his child’s eyes yet how many hours does he spend looking at TV?  So you think you can dance is more popular than so you think you know what your children faced at school today.   There is a serious epidemic of ignoring the most important things in our lives…..the only thing we are able to bring to heaven….our family.  Replace this time with reading great books on finances, relationships, history & see how your life will change for the best!  Read with your kids.  Instill this habit at an early age. Unplug the TV & plug into your real life, not reality portrayed by someone else. If people are so far in debt, they should start a home based business or get a second job. Either way, nightly entertainment from T V isn’t the answer just like blaming Wall Street isn’t the answer.

9.      Out of town travel costs can be cut tremendously by using services such as Priceline.com & bidding on flights, hotels & rental cars.  I have radically saved in this area as I never pay full price.

B. Shelter is an essential part of our budget.  There is controversy whether or not it is better to own or rent.  I have done both & for this season in my life there is no way I would own anything unless I paid cash for it.  Unless your house creates an income or is paid for, it is a liability.   I am a design & landscape freak.  Admittance is the beginning of overcoming right?  As an empty nester, I choose to live in a loft.  I have a wonderful maintenance man who replaces my light bulbs, replaces my air filters & fixes anything that breaks (which is a tiny savings in itself right?).  I don’t pay water, trash or sewage which is at least a $60/ month savings.    There is a fabulous lawn management group that keeps our property manicured year round.  I live 8-10 minutes from work saving even more money on transportation & it is located on the DART line, within walking distance to my beloved AA Center & the popular Katy Trail for walking / biking.  I do not pay HOA fees, property taxes, high insurance prices, or other expenses included in being a homeowner. You may not believe you could move your family into an apartment complex, but there are alternate choices.  Either way, I would suggest looking at where you currently live & decide if it is the best place or if it is the source of your frustration.  Are you fighting over the lawn?  Garbage? Neighborhood situations? When you work 60-80 hours per week to make ends meet, when are you actually enjoying your oasis?  If you must purchase a home, consider an unconventional way of doing so & use NACA.com.  Not only do they offer no down payments programs, low-interest rates, but also utilize a strict budget management program which assures you buy what you can afford.

C. Clothing is a subject some people will argue over.  I speak to people on a regular basis who place this above many other areas of living importance.  Really?  Why?  Appearances right? I used to sew for myself & my kids & I know what goes into clothes.  In my area there are fabulous thrift stores, outlets & other choices where I find fashionable clothing at amazing prices.  It is my choice to shop thrift stores as a point of actually giving back to my community.  Numerous times I have found pieces of clothing with the price tag still on them.   I have also met vintage store owners shopping at the same thrift store I frequent to purchase items to sell in their shops, at an increased price of course.  I buy what I like & am not a label girl at all.  Interestingly enough, my closet contains designer clothing purchased at thrift store prices.  Buying seasonally is a great choice as well as holding clothing swaps between friends especially when small kids are involved.

D. Food, primarily grocery purchases, soars with the increasing costs of fuel necessary for distribution.  Many cities have instituted farmers markets.  This not only provides healthy alternatives, but supports local businesses.  I shop at a small, neighborhood, local, market that features all natural / organic foods primarily from local farmers.  It costs me much less than the big box stores because it is their specialty.  I purchase smaller quantities that prevent spoilage which prevents waste.  There are many wonderful ways to cut the grocery budget.  Do inventories of what you purchase versus what you never use & eliminate the difference.  Again, stop the fast food frenzy.  Allocate this cost back into your grocery budget & watch the savings add up.

I realize this has been a long blog, but after reading the reasons for the Occupy Wall Street Protesting, it has been on my heart to write.  By gaining control of our expenses, eliminating debt, taking a risk for successful entrepreneurial opportunities & making contributions to our communities, we will be the percentage of people who provide the answer our nation needs to thrive.  Just as our forefathers left the tyranny of an evil king to establish a new nation, it’s our responsibility, not our government, to establish personal change. We can’t continue to blame the wealthy simply because they choose to sacrifice & risk what it takes to succeed, while we choose to rack up debt & complain. Imagine a group of people who practice the things outlined above.  We will impact our economy in a positive way increasing capacity.  In becoming economically independent, we will provide the stimulus instead of needing one. 

Don't just carry a sign, be one!

If these suggestions are elementary to you, please consider taking the time to mentor someone who is struggling.  

Blessings,

g

 

Comfortably Numb

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This morning, for some strange reason, the words, “Comfortably Numb” came to mind.  While this was clearly a song referencing the drug scene, I feel like this is what Americans have excepted with their debt. We have received a steady  infusion of mediocrity & complacency creating an apathetic numbness. Funny, but some of the lyrics say this:

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown the dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb

I talk to people daily whose response is, “I’m doing alright” & it saddens me to think they’ve compromised the dream of doing something great or even significant with their lives.  Doing alright is clearly a matter of opinion.  Christine Aguilera has a line in the movie, Burlesque, that hit a chord within me the second I heard her say it. When Jack asked Ali why she left her hometown, she says, “I looked around at everyone I knew & there wasn’t one life I wanted.”  I have to admit, there were people whom I admired because it appeared they had it all together until I realized appearances aren’t always what they seem.  It wasn’t the type of togetherness I ever wanted to settle for.  I still respect them as humans, but would never covet their lifestyle.  Some of these were doctors, lawyers, prestigious business men/women, executives, & etc.  Once you see beyond the norm into the realm of possibilities, it completely warps your brain!  Thank God!

The words from the Lennon song, Imagine, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” resonate deep within my soul.  I was a nurse at age 4.  Everyone knew it, especially the dogs who were usually my patients!  Later, after fulfilling that career dream, the stirring of being more & doing more kept nagging at me.  In 2003, through a desperate set of circumstances, a friend gave me the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”  by Robert Kiyosaki.  It provided the answers I knew existed.

In 2004 I left my hometown in Louisiana & moved to Texas with the sole purpose of discovering my destiny & fulfilling my purpose.  I have never had a problem with dreaming BIG!  I only had the problem of having the vehicle of making those dreams come true.  I realized working  as many hours per week as possible in 3 jobs  never provided that.  I have seen the effects of people who just accept this is a way of life for them.  You see it too. The glimmer of hope is erased from their eyes; their smiles are forced; relationships mirror the results & conversations locate their heart.   I am grieved, because as I have discovered, there is so much more.  I’ve never felt the numbness of giving up on my dream, only the anxiety of not getting it fast enough & there is certainly nothing comfortable about my lifestyle either!

I encourage you to inventory the parts of your life that perhaps you have buried.  Search your soul, which is your mind, will & emotions, to discover what really drives you.  What subject, when mentioned, excites you to the point of even bringing tears to your eyes?  What dream have you stuffed so far down in your psyche, only a soul search will unfold?  Once you determine this, believe me, there is a vehicle to provide the resources to accomplish it.  I know, it has changed my life to the point of never looking back in regret for making the choice.

 

There are many enemies out to steal your dream.  They come in the form of promotions, titles, pride, self-sabotage, friends, family, material things, etc.   The biggest enemy is, “I’m doing good” because good is the enemy of great.  If your dreams have been shattered, it’s time to dream again, only dream bigger than ever before.  The “Dream Giver” made sure you were born with seeds of greatness in you.  Break up the fallow ground, sow into the lives of others & receive a rich harvest in a life only imaginable in your dreams.

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to  pursue them –Walt Disney

Blessings,      

g                                                                                                                                                                          

Being broke is never a money prob$em, but a thinking prob$em!

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I talk to people on a daily basis about the benefits of owning a home based biz.  I have been involved in a home based biz since September 2006 & can honestly say, from experience, that it is the greatest position in the universe.  Reading books such as “The Next Millionaires by Paul Zane Pilzer” clearly defines four specific areas in which to invest your time & resources with the greatest ROI.  Not only return, but HUGE return.  His prediction of having ten million new millionaires by the year 2016 is right on target.  He says if you have a business in just one of the four categories, you are guaranteed to become one of those predicted millionaires.  The categories are:

  • Home based business
  • Internet
  • Health / Wellness
  • Intellectual Distribution

My business embraces all four so you can see why I am so psyched all the time.  When you read the book “The Business of the 21st. Century by Robert Kiyosaki”  you will know even more of why I am psyched!  He states to have a successful business you need two things:

  • A Duplicateable System
  • Leadership

Yes!  Not only does my business have both, but it has both with excellence!  When I sit down with a potential business partner, I have nothing to hide, will not apologize for having pride in what I stand for & certainly know the benefits of being involved with this business model. I edify my mentors with assurance of knowing they lead with character, integrity & honor.  I have noticed many ways people attempt to justify not becoming a part of a home based biz.  It is easy to find blame or use excuses when honestly they don’t have the courage to step out on their own.  They also don’t have belief in themselves & listen to others who are cowards.  That may be strong, but everything I do is a step of faith.  As a single woman, I had to exercise courage to become a business owner.  I also had to get over myself by overcoming fear, rejection, intimidation, past failures, past successes, insecurities & self-sabotage.  I have become a better person in many ways because of this.  I love this scripture & apply it in every facet of life.

Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.~ Heb.11:1

I find some of the “reasons” people use as to why they can’t start their own business interesting.  It is real to them, but to me, it is just a sad assortment of selling themselves & their family short of  their highest potential.  I can recognize it because I used it too!  My observation is that when people say they can’t afford to invest in their future, they don’t realize the things they invest in on a daily basis moves them further away from freedom.  I used to partake of temporary satisfaction or self-entitlement.  I had a problem with compulsive shopping causing me to work even more hours away from my kids. Thanks to a world-class financial training system, I  have learned long-term vision & delayed gratification.  I haven’t “arrived,”  but I am totally not the same person.  It is amazing how I define my wants -vs-needs & discipline myself to them.

I often hear people say they can’t “afford”  their own biz as I watch them eat out every day for lunch & even several times a week for dinner; use the vending machines at work numerous times a day;  hit the restaurants & movies on weekends or other entertainment sources;  then there could the smoking habit or yes, even ***$$$ coffee; (Gals)ALWAYS have nails / toes / hair done, & sport the latest fashions; (Guys) ALWAYS have leagues/card games/hobbies/fantasy sports game pools. Some of these expenses are daily, weekly, bi-weekly & monthly, but if they ever calculated the cost per year, they would be surprised at the discretionary funds they could have.  I can honestly say I had to do this when I moved to Texas.  Budget?  What on earth was that?  I NEVER kept a budget & yes, it showed in my finances.  When I actually had to keep receipts & report to someone bi-weekly to explain why I purchased what I did, I gained control & exercised discipline.  I  vividly remember the first trip to Sam’s Club after beginning this program.  I loaded my cart in the usual fashion, strolled around the store & then realized, “How am I going to explain this to Blah-Blah?”  I immediately unloaded the things from the cart in their respectful place & never did it again. Seriously now I only visit Sam’s maybe once or twice yearly.  I gained control thus changing my thinking.  This was the precursor for what I would begin to learn 2 years later in my own biz.

I believe the saddest thing I hear  is to use their kids as excuses when they should be the reason.  My kid has ______practice, or belong to ______team or is going on ______trip.  Short term sacrifice for your kids could result in you being the parent who has a motor-coach or bus & is able to take the entire team to playoffs because you are time & financially free.  You would be the coolest parent in the community & a hero to your kids. Or…what about actually taking them to every point of history in our nation instead of letting a conveyor-belt school system teach them?  When school starts, you could buy supplies for your children & adopt kids for each of them to assist with supplies?  What about telling your wife to go shopping & there is no monetary limit to her spending because you now make more in a week than you did in a year from your J.O.B.?  Hey it’s summertime & kids camps are in progress all over the nation.  Could you sponsor ten kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go?  Camps literally change lives & this is an investment worth making.  How about seeing the Angel Tree in your church at Christmas & adopting every single parent & their kids?    Maybe you want to help an aging parent?  Write a check to pay off their house not just a house payment here & there.

Here’s a novel idea!  How about practicing what I did with my daughter, son-in-law & grands did last year for Christmas?  We gave the gift of “presence” instead of “presents.”  We started small because we had recently had the expense of my son’s wedding in October so we limited our budget.  My son-in-law chose Chicago.  I live in Dallas & they live in the outskirts of St. Louis.  I drove to St. Louis where we went via Amtrak from St. Louis to Chicago.  We stayed near the Magnificent Mile & spent  time there exploring things that will forever be etched in our memories. We love aquariums & have added Shedd Aquarium on our list of ones visited.  Trains, aquarium, Giordano’s deep-dish Chicago style, pan pizza, shaved  Portillo’s roast beef subs, snow, American Girl, Lego Store, & etc. You know the greatest part of the entire trip for me?  Was it spending time with my grands & watching them as they explored the things they couldn’t wait to see?  Was it seeing my grands faces as they watched dolphins for the first time in their lives perform a Christmas play?  Should have been, but it was to hear my son-in-law talk to friends / family on the phone while we were there telling them they have to try this!  Priceless!    The possibilities are endless & are only limited by your imagination.

What I have learned is that people will always have money for what matters to them.  The mentality that you will always be in debt is a lie handed down for generations.  Our forefathers were entrepreneurs.  They networked within their communities.  They used the cash system.  Many first generation millionaires used the principles written about in the book, “The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.”   Timeless principles that have endured generation after generation of millionaires.  How about the book, “The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko.”  This book is one of my favorites to resort to when I feel when the pressure of  “fitting in”  or “self-entitlement”  starts to creep in.   I keep it at my office!

Our future matters!  More than this, the future of our children matter.  Our ancestors & their families fled the tyranny of an evil government to what they pictured as freedom in a new world.  They had nothing but hope & a dream. Somewhere down the chain, we have marred that determination & have turned dreams into nightmares.   You see, debt isn’t the American Dream, it’s the American Way.

I admonish the people who have the courage to defend the rights of freedom globally by stepping out of their comfort zones, getting past two knobs — the TV remote & the door — and defending their family.  My favorite book & the greatest of all eternity, the Bible,  has sound, financial scriptures I will paraphrase:  “Be a lender to many nations & never borrow,”  “A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren,”  “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another.”  Regardless of your faith, these are amazing principles, yet we would rather follow in the footsteps of our neighbors, friends, & even family members by being in debt living paycheck to paycheck.   At your hearts discretion, not your bank account, choose to be a blessing to many.  Reading the inspiring book  “L.I.F.E. = Living Intentionally For Excellence by Chris Brady & Orrin Woodward” gives tremendous examples of how to live a life that truly counts.

Think about what you would do if you knew you couldn’t lose.  Being broke is never a money problem, but having broke thinking.  This is something easily changed.  Another of my favorite books, “The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson” has made a tremendous difference in my life & in the lives of millions.  The simple phrase, “It’s easy to do and it’s easy not to do” captures my attention when I have to make decisions daily toward the disciplines I have set.  Get a mani/pedi bi-weekly or learn from millionaires every day?  Easy!  Pay a salon to color my hair or do it myself so I can attend a convention? Easy!   Slight edge discipline in every area of our lives can change the course of history for our family.   Be the person others write about in ancestral searches as the Rascal who made the difference.

Change your thinking, change your results. Build trust in yourself once again & fulfill the destiny you were created to fulfill. On the journey, help someone else fulfill theirs.  Pay it forward & dream BIG!!!

Blessings,

g

Preparation + Opportunity=Successful Singles

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        Out of curiosity I typed the word, “Singles” in my browser & came back with about 244,000,000 results relating to the word.  Guess what the majority of the sites were?  Dating!  There is a saying, ” Success = Preparation + Opportunity.”  This post will not address dating, but being a successful single business owner.  I want to discuss that in-between time!  I have found this is the greatest season to seize the opportunity  to prepare in every area of life.

         If you are single building a home based biz by yourself, I commend you more than you could ever imagine.  While I am in business for myself, I have never, ever felt like I’m in business by myself.  I have been blessed from the beginning to be surrounded by the most incredible, dedicated & devoted mentors, life coaches & best friends one could ever dream of.  I have an equation;  1 x 0 = 16  + 1000’s.  This is my support system as a single adult in a professional networking business.

 “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecc.4:12

  

The worst excuse anyone could  possibly  allow themselves to believe is that this profession is only successful for married couples.  I approach it as being enrolled in the most prestigious university ever established!  My degree upon graduation? A changed life – MINE!  Let’s explore some areas of life that you, like myself,  have the potential of expanding.  How does this profession prepare you for life in general or even potentially being married?  Being immersed in a world-class, ongoing educational training system has allowed me the opportunity to expand my thinking in the following areas:

  1. Relationships / Marriage:  Learn about how marriage should be.  This is such a blessing to observe couples who make their marriage a priority.  During my season of being a singles director, I studied & taught on relationships. Had I actually practiced this during marriage……Uh… never-mind!    Being deluged in a culture passionate about changing the rate of divorce in our nation, has forced me to take this study to an entirely different level.  Knowing communication is a huge factor in marriage, I am continually learning how to develop excellent communicative skills.  The four personality types + five love /apology languages = how you respond to  accepting, approving & appreciating people for who they are & who they can become.  I have always loved to talk & loved people.  This is totally different! Did you know that listening is an integral facet of communication?  Yea, it really is!  
  2. Wealth thinking:  Knowing  that divorce can occur because of financial stress caused from our inabilities to live below our means, not practicing delayed gratification & having  the absence of long term vision, I am getting a well-rounded education on finances.  See it’s not merely teaching someone how to make money, but how to keep it & make it work for you that creates wealth.  How reassuring will it be to a potential mate knowing I already know how to manage my finances, set & reach goals for rewards & invest wisely.  Have you noticed the prices of silver & gold lately?  Are you aware of what happened historically when this occurred? Did I ever care before?  No!  Knowing the pieces of the puzzle conventional education never taught me allows me to feel empowered.  
  3. Politically:  The thought of what is happening in our nation politically is not just something I can join a group & picket against.  When you are financially stable, independently wealthy, surrounded by a million-strong, like-minded, forward thinking culture of people,  you will naturally make a difference.  This is often done without voicing your opinion, but letting your light shine before man in living by example.  I love the saying, “What you do speaks so loudly, what you say I can’t hear.”  Leadership is influence.  I am no longer straddling the fence on what I believe politically.  I am interested in what is transpiring on every level & am willing to do my part which, by the way, is more than casting a vote during election time.  Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely thank everyone for doing that, but freedom ensures a voice not limited to electoral seasons.  Do you think a potential mate would feel honored to have a someone who is not oblivious to this scene?

        There are so many other areas of potential growth that can take place during your season of singleness.  This is the greatest time &  opportunity to practice edification & promotion because you are constantly doing so with your mentors.  Remember the principle of sowing & reaping? Partnering with a mentor offers a tremendous accountability & leverage system.  Everything you partake of during this time, do so with all your heart, for you will reap an abundant harvest!  “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”- Isaac Newton

        I believe building a business as a single adult will be a catalyst for married couples.  It will help them be even more determined when they see your success!  You will instill hope to an entire generation of single adults, not limited to age or economic status related groups.  This season of your life exemplifies community–common unity–because you are continually forced to practice interdependence. I know this is totally opposite of what corporate America teaches, but the results will be totally opposite as well!  

        I have 3 “IT” factors that I stand by daily while building as a single woman. It was originally reserved for stage, but since all the world is my stage…I will share! 

  1. Subm”IT” to a mentor. Not just any mentor!  Find one that has the fruit on the tree, operates with the principles of character & integrity holding the bar high for you.  Finding a mentor who will not only love you where you are, but also love you into YOUR future is priceless.  Etch goals in stone, write plans in sand & PDCA with them on a regular basis.  
  2. Perm”IT” that mentor to speak into your life.  If your mentor is anything like mine, you will have more positive spoken over you than any point in time.  Who couldn’t use this? The more you understand the position your mentor assumes in your life, your family, your dream, while it may seem they are strong with their advice, you will embrace it.   Remember….the uniform of a leader is thick skin & a soft heart.  Permitting your mentor to offer strategies that pattern interrupt the things that are holding you back is vital to your success.  
  3. Comm”IT” to your dreams.    “Nothing happens unless first a dream” – C. Sandburg –  If you don’t have a cause bigger than your applause, you will never build a biz.  If your purpose isn’t bigger than your  paycheck, you will never build a biz. Setting a goal to make enough money to pay your house or car note is not big enough.  That can be accomplished by working OT or acquiring a second job.  Your dream has to be so big, the only way it can be accomplished is to work with others to reach it.  Search your heart & find what makes you almost cry when you think about it.  This is a great start in locating your passion. Guess what happens?  Once you learn the dreams of others & become so determined in helping them accomplish theirs, you wake up only to  realize….your dreams have been fulfilled too!!  I’ll never forget when that switch was made in my heart.   It changed my life.  Big dreams are imperative, but it’s extremely important to set dreams incrementally in order to build trust within yourself.  Once you accomplish a dream or goal, reward yourself & raise the bar.  People quit in life & in business all the time &  >90% of the time it is because they’ve never located a dream that was big enough to drive them out of their comfort zone. Complacency will always welcome them home to mediocrity.   A great piece of advice….“Build your dream, not your business.” – Laurie Woodward 
        I believe in you & I believe our nation is waiting for us to rise up & show them what we are made of!  One of my recent fav quotes: Caterpillars to butterflies; sand to pearls; coal to diamonds….It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that counts!”  I love that each of these examples overcame adversity, enormous pressure, & irritating obstacles in becoming brilliant, beautiful, priceless, sought after works of art!!  You are such a piece of art masterfully created by God Himself to accomplish a purpose & destiny only you can fulfill. 

Blessings,
g

The “bag” that bites you in the butt! Or…does it?

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Wow!  That is the extent of my vocabulary today!  I know that is hard to conceive right?  Grab your cup of tea & enjoy my recap of the last 7 days of my life.

It appears I have fallen off the face of the earth in just one week!  My baby, my only son, Bryce got married one week ago today!  The normal activities that surround a wedding are enough in itself.  This,however, wasn’t enough for me.  Let’s explore!

Approximately a yr. & a half  ago I decided I HAD to move to downtown Dallas.  I have been in love with the city line since moving to Texas in ’04, but something triggered a desire to live right smack dab in the middle of the mecca. I started “courting” the dream by scoping out apartment complexes I liked.  I narrowed it to loft living & focused there.  Commuting via DART bus lines allowed me the ability to ride around the downtown streets observing normal daily activities at their finest.  I loved the city!

The past seven days have proved to be most grueling, yet I know the grace & mercy of God has encapsulated me.  Goodness surely followed me!  In my quest of finding said loft, I began the search in March ’10.  Bryce proposed to Sara thereafter & thus begun their wedding plans.  I have no clue why each of my past moves have been down to the wire, but….I will change that the next time!

Knowing I was moving to Dallas, we purposed Bryce would be out in Sept. giving him at least a month to get set up before his wedding.  Circumstances such as working in one city & going to church in another were factors to consider.  Finding an apartment within a budget located in a safe zone were others.  It made sense to me to live in the place you worked in 5 dys a week & commute to church.  This of course became their choice.  Their apartment was secured the Monday prior to their wedding on Saturday.  Whew…

William, Bryce’s best man & BFF since 3rd. grade decided to move to Texas from Louisiana.  His search began a few months ago.  His apartment was secured the Tuesday after the wedding.  Both guys now had their own place.

This left me!  Let’s backtrack a minute. A few yrs. ago I decided to purchase a historic home in downtown Waxahachie.  She was a beautiful 104 yrs. old lady listed on the Historic Register.  The problem occurred when the owner stopped making payments to Country Wide Finance the month I moved in. I paid $1300/mon. thinking it was going to the finance company in hopes it would be considered a “down payment” when I secured financing.  When I found out my payments were not going to said finance company, they suggested, since they had never received payments for almost an entire year, that I stop making payments to owner, & look elsewhere.  I did.  I stayed in the house for a few months longer in an attempt to recoup some of my loss, searched for a new place, &  plotted revenge.   We all know  vengeance  belongs to God, so….just let him take care of it!  In the meantime, the owner secured an attorney & charged me with eviction. Since he was prominent in our community, I had actually exposed his antics to his employer so…it was more to shut me up than kick me out!  I confess…I am not perfect & need to practice conflict resolution regularly! Eviction court was the time I should have defended myself, but never having been evicted before, I just left him holding the bag.  The only problem was the “bag” would later bite me in the butt!

When I narrowed my 7 month search for lofts down to the one community  I “had”  to live in, I wasn’t approved!  What?  How is this possible?   I resorted to my second  fav.  I was again honest, put on my app I was asked to move & yes….it happened again.  This time I found out why.  The eviction reared its head!  I then asked for a referral to someone who could help me & voila…I am writing from my new loft!  Glad I know how to ask for referrals right?

The referral led me to a locator who just needed the facts.  I gave them & she would begin working.   How embarrassing & shame ridden right?  Wrong!  You have to know that what Satan uses to destroy you, God will ultimately use it for your good!  Remember Goodness who was following me?  During the wedding weekend,  I spoke to the  locater assigned to help me  & told her exactly what I wanted.  Just because the facts changed, my dream was the same & I was not willing to compromise.  Monday after the wedding, Summer, Russell, Lilli, Kaelleb & I visited the Dallas World Aquarium & the locater called me with 3 properties to consider.  One property I had completely overlooked until literally just 2 wks. ago when I accidentally saw it from the interstate.  After noticing it, I drove to it after work the same day & then searched their site on the web.  I was very familiar with it when she asked if I knew anything about it.  Coincidence?  Never!  While in downtown on Monday, after pics with the cows, I attempted to show Summer & Russell the 3 choices of properties.  Russell cracked me up over his description of one of them!  They both liked the “overlooked” one. Tuesday, Summer left for home & I met the locator, viewed the loft, & secured it all in the same day.  Did this happen in one day?  No….you see, remember I had been searching since March?  I knew lofts by then & knew what I wanted. Was it because I was desperate? No…I could have stayed in Waxahachie.  I wasn’t homeless!  This was the result of effort exerted over time coming to fruition or Slight Edge mentality!

This is the sweet part of grace!  Due to the timing of my move, & favor with my landlord, I only paid half a month at my old place. The new loft cost me all of $322 to move in as compared to $1100 + that the first 2 would have.   They completely waived the deposit as opposed to $245-$500,or higher b/c of my “history.”  I get $200 off my first months rent (which I chose Nov). They  re-adjusted the rent down $20/month b/c the closet lay out was weird, but will double rack my shelving.  I have free water & trash,  free WiFi , free parking (unless I want covered),  live in a gated community where people work & live in some of the lofts.  They are located in the Design District, which may be a problem for me due to the number of antique stores!  The savings are terrific.  The loft manager said mine was the smoothest transaction he had ever witnessed.  Imagine that? God completely worked in my favor.  I was a victim of someones greed.  God’s grace is bigger than any accusations or eviction. What appeared hopeless, turned into a miracle.

On yet another note…when God gives you friends with a discerning spirit…trust them.  Without knowing I wasn’t approved for the first loft, my BFF, Glenda, was thinking of me living in & coming to visit me in Dallas.  Suddenly she felt concerned for my safety living near Deep Ellum.  Coincidence?  Again…never.  She told me this after I mentioned not being approved.

Where are we?  Oh…the  movers came on Thurs which was another scenario in itself.  Thank God for people skills!  See… I have graduated from using friends to help me move. I was saving time & frustration this time by hiring a moving company rather than employing day labor & getting the blessed Penske truck.  In the end…it worked out to…..yes my favor!  When you have 40 boxes over,  plus extra furniture not listed in the contract…. negotiation skills are a must!  And….he, the mover, happened to leave a dolly which allowed me to unload my car with ease after my final trip.  He also wants to take me out to eat seafood….we will see about that one!

I hired a make-ready crew to clean my old place.  That in itself was worth the price. Yes, I live a very frugal lifestyle & practice delayed gratification daily, but when you understand the value of your time, you make decisions based on that.

In summary….for me the past seven days have been completely overwhelming.  Not the wedding or the visit from my babies of course!  This is the first move ever without assistance from my son, his buddies & a host of friends.  I am, as usual, indebted to Joy & Jadalynn for their support.  Let me clarify so no one reading this thinks I was abandoned!  Bryce was on his honeymoon & in an attempt to save money, I moved during the week on a Thurs while my friends were at work.  I put my big girl panties on & dealt with it! I am super glad I did….it is storming outside today.  Again….never a coincidence!

Never let the circumstances of your past paralyze the dreams of your future.  I wanted downtown Dallas.  I did it!  I am here!  Not in the center, which is probably the best choice ever, but across the interstate from it, actually walking distance from the AAC!

When you put your trust in an unseen God, walk by faith & not by sight, you will be amazed at what will unfold before your very eyes.  I am blessed beyond measure! My first night in my new home I ate Fuel City Tacos with the downtown city scape as my view.  I did it!

Those that know me, know the scripture below is the one I stand on daily!

Blessings,

g

Is. 61: 7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, & instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; & so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
& everlasting joy will be theirs.

What did you just say?

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I belong to several blog sites & receive emails from popular, well-known activist groups.  I have never considered myself an activist until a few years ago.  Here’s some background for you. In high school I was the “mouth” or the voice of support for the groups I belonged to.  I had no problem speaking my mind or letting those in charge know my opinion.  As a cheerleader, I was not only vocal for my basketball team, but vocal for the cheerleaders.  Once the head coach, Coach Leggett,  told me we couldn’t join the team on a particular trip because it was very far away.  Being the games were during the week, coach didn’t want us to travel and  be exhausted for school the next day. What did he just say?  We, THE cheerleaders couldn’t go?  No! That did not fly at all.   I pranced to the principals office, of whom I was the pet, and complained.  Well…we did go and I promised we would not complain at all about the trip or the next day at school.  Numerous occasions like this occurred.  God forbid if I was ever absent when there was a meeting involving common interests because I would catch flack from my fellow students, none of which would ever speak up.

Then, what I felt at the time, the most devastating day of my life happened.  My beloved principal was being accused of embezzlement charges.  I was mortified.  My parents had to take me to the school board parish wide meeting as a community “trial.”  Well, let me rephrase that…they didn’t have to, but I insisted on being there.  I stood my ground in the midst of every adult there.  They knew exactly what I thought about this ridiculous accusation.  I loved my principal.  He made sure the guys treated us girls like ladies.  He demanded respect and was fair.  The vote ruled against him and I was crushed.  The day our “new” principal arrived at school, guess who was in the parking lot to meet him?  Yea, me!  He pulls up, gets out of his car and I am there. No staff, no one else, but moi!  These were my words (with an attitude to match!),  “My name is Geneva Herring.  You are not welcome here. My principal is Mr. Rooks and he will always be my principal.  I do not like you now, & I will never like you.  And don’t think you will make any changes to my schedule or as far as changes go, don’t think we will do anything you say at all.”  I turned and stomped off to class.  Wow! I really knew how to win friends and influence people didn’t I?  Serious…those words ring in my ears as if I just left the scene.  We didn’t “bond,” per se, but we learned to tolerate each other. Funny how life happens.  He was an artist, a sculptor &  I am now very fond of his work.  I grew up!

I took a blast to my past in reference to what I am noticing in society today.  I wasn’t just talk then.  My words carried corresponding actions.  I will be the first to admit, they weren’t always the greatest actions, but no one ever said of me, I didn’t carry through. I am white-hot about what I am passionate about.

Forward ho!  I’m noticing a plethora of  large organizations requesting funds to support their cause for liberty.  I completely understand the war we are against when it comes to our rights as Americans.  I also realize insurmountable  costs when it comes to advertising, forums, etc.  Since I can’t actively serve on as many as I believe in, I do support them financially.    Here’s a novel thought! I believe we should raise the standard.  Instead of jockeying for our rights, we should courageously rally for our responsibilities or our duties.  We can show people how to become so financially free & independent  that their contributions alone to the government in the form of  taxes we pay (after expenses! ), community charitable contributions, foundations, philanthropy, etc., turn the tide for FREEDOM.  I have been enlightened to the economic dealings by listening to great audios such as “Creature from Jekyll Island,” reading book after book explaining the history of our nation and what we must do to secure our precious freedoms.

Imagine a nation consisting of free enterprise business owners who set the bar for liberty.  There are multiple millionaires, billionaires & etc. & according to Paul Z. Pilzer, there are even more in the making.  The standard should be to actively pursue freedom & liberty in such a way that our contribution to society alone will change the course of history.  At this point, I would like to interject that while I quickly recognize I am not the brightest bulb in the pack when it comes to economics, socio-economic, value of the dollar, yen, gold standards, FICA, etc., I can quickly recognize I am bright enough to surround myself with & surrender myself to a learning organization. These leaders are recognized on such a level in their brilliant knowledge of such subjects, I can almost feel my brain getting smarter when I listen to them!   That is where it starts.  You must be hungry enough for change, yet  brave enough to execute change.  I am attracted to intelligence, courage, humility & integrity.  I refuse to live my dash, 1959 (-) ?? never contributing to restoring the legacy of our forefathers.  If my own legacy doesn’t include recognizable names & faces of individuals, as well as families, whose lives were changed because I chose to act on my beliefs, I have lived in vain.

In my experience, as I have been involved in church for many years, the thing I glean the most is not giving people fish for a day, but teaching them to fish for a lifetime.  Working in singles ministry for 17 yrs. & in the non-profit sector, I have seen first hand how the “fish for the day” approach doesn’t work.  When I took the spiritual gifts test for selecting where I belong in ministry at The Oaks Fellowship, my score on mercy wasn’t high.  What did it say? I was shocked until I realized I didn’t show mercy as readily as I showed solutions.  While I will never receive the title of “Drama Queen” I realized I can listen to an individual & immediately move from drama to resolve before the conversation is ended. I didn’t confess I wasn’t a listener. I merely claim, while I am seeking to understand, I also seek to empower interdependence instead of co-dependence.   I guess I have counseled numerous single adults where co-dependence  & cyclic behavior is their nature.  Or maybe this is because of many, many years of critical care thinking in medicine, but….whatever the reason, I begin the conversation with the end in mind!  Many times my suggestions or resolutions present themselves simply in the form of compassion.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear what you say.”  May we,  a nation of  free enterprise independent business owners, thrive in our endeavors to secure our most precious possessions,  Freedom & Liberty for all!  We are not looking for a hand out, but a hand up.  Let us embrace the commission in raising up leaders with common unity, not bearing arms, but bearing each other in hot pursuit of the joy in knowing  we will make a difference. We will stop fighting each other & fight together for a noble cause.  Find your why, ignore what “they” say, and live life on purpose.  Stop following the herd of mediocrity & develop goals –planned attack on the status quo.

Michelangelo (1475 – 1564)

There is a multitude of hosts who have fought before, & an even greater cloud of witnesses that are cheering you on every second.

Blessings,

g