Saturday, January 24, 2009

Promise Yourself

I have had this for a long time and every time I read it I feel empowered. It has also been a great topic in group sessions I have facilitated with adolescent, adult male and females. I hope you enjoy it.

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can

disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity

to every person you meet.

to make all your friends feel that

there is something in them.

to look at the sunny side of everything

and to make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work

only for the best and expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about

the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past

and press on to the greater

achievements of the future.

to wear a cheerful countenance at all times

and give every living creature you meet a smile.

to give so much time to the improvement of yourself

that you have no time to critizie others.

to be too lare for worry, too noble for anger,

too strong for fear, and too happy

to permit the presence of trouble.

Author Unknown

Friday, January 16, 2009

Loving Yourself

CARESS: Keys to nurturing Yourself

COMPASSION: Having compassion is a healing method that is a link to the place where you hurt

ACCEPTANCE: Is aligned with compassion. When you respond to yourself with compassion, you are accepting your imperfections. No matter what be there for yourself, don't beat yourself up.

RESPECT: Is the way you treat yourself and are treated by other people determined by your perceived value of yourself. When you feel worthy of respect you get it.

ENCOURAGEMENT: Helps you set goals, values, and beliefs that you can attain. Affirmations are a great way to validate yourself and your efforts, and your self worth.

SUPPORT: You cannot rely on others to give you support. When there is no one else there you must know that when things get bad you are at the root of the love and support you need.

STROKING: Allow yourself to be receptive to all the wonderful things available to you and relish the moment.

Your objective is to produce personal and professional growth. Negative self talk diminishes your self esteem and results in feelings of failure.

Source: Carolynn Hillmann

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dominique's Story

I learned a long time ago that self disclosure can be powerful. To me it is like putting your soul through a filter and leaving behind all of the toxic waste while gaining the ability to walk away with the lessons that were meant to be learned feeling empowered. I would like to introduce you to Dominique Howard a creative,strong, and empowering woman who has given me permission to share her experience, strength and hope with others. When I read Dominque's story I got goose bumps and my eyes teared up. First from feeling her pain and then from identifying with her joy. I asked Dominque a few questions about her thoughts on female relationships. Her response is just as honest as her story.

Dominique Howard
I was a woman with a pretty face and no self-respect. Broken and wounded was I. Men were drawn to me because of my reputation of being loose and easy. I allowed several men to belittle me, use me and even hit me because I had no love for myself. I remember one man pushed my head into the ground and threw water in my face as if I was nothing and he told me that the women that are loved are the ones who get hit. Another man kicked in my door and punched me in my face and he told me that he loved me.
And one day I woke up and I began to have a relationship with a lover named Jesus and he helped me fall in love with myself and I realized that I was worth much more than this. And from that day forward I was no longer an abused woman.

I had an issue with promiscuity. I enjoyed being promiscuous and I did not discriminate. If I had a taste for a particular flavor, I had a menu of numbers that I could call to have it delivered to my door like pizza. I had no values, no respect for myself or my victims. When I tried to do right and avoid mankind because of my weak flesh, I would always give in to my temptation. I remember praying to God asking him to help me with this addiction that was bound to drive me straight to the fire. With constant praying and fasting the desire started to subside. I desired that promiscuous habit less and less and one day my mind changed and I was no longer a whoremonger.

I was blessed with a wonderful husband in May of 2001 and in June 2001 I wanted to get an annulment from this wonderful man that I was blessed with because I found out that he had some fleshly issues with a woman that was not me. I was hurt, devastated, and just downright torn to pieces. Did he not know my struggles? ! that I prayed and fasted to overcome so that I would be that wife that he deserved? ! I was shattered on the inside, but I chose to stay with my husband and work through this difficult time.

I quietly hated him, I quietly rejoiced in his torment at work. I did not want to be intimate with him because I did not know if he saw me or her. I prayed for restoration and healing and as time passed I no longer cried when I had to encourage another broken young woman that her marriage would survive their issues, by telling my story and the pain that I had endured and made it through. I was stronger and able to laugh about my past pains because I loved my husband and I forgave him. So I thought!
But then one day this brother approached me at the right place and the right time and before I could flee from this temptation I thought about my husband. I thought wow, when my husband was enjoying woman kind (that was not myself) he did not consider me! So why should I consider him?! It was my turn! I wanted him to know the pain that I felt! Wow as it turns out I didn’t forgive my husband at all.
So I made the choice to creep, slip, and side dip and now I am an adulterer. I went back to the same vomit that I threw up some years ago. (Was it worth it?) No (Was I justified in my actions?) No I knew God was not pleased with what I had done. Had I just prayed and let the Lord work on me, and just let God be God I would not have been in this mess!

I had fought so hard to be rid of those demons and now, I had to fight that much harder to get back on track. And people, I asked for forgiveness and I prayed and I fought to take back what was rightfully mine! And with much prayer and fasting I was no longer an adulterer!

And I stand before you today happily married to the same wonderful husband I married in 2001. And the Lord birthed a music ministry in me so that I could tell my story to be a blessing to those who are going through what I went through or similar.

My message is:
If he cleaned me up and brought me out of my darkness, he is a faithful and just God, to do the same for those who seek his face.


Lydia: What has been your experience regarding having relationships with women?

Dominique: Most of the women that I have formed relationships with have had the same life experiences as I have. So my relationship experience with these women has been successful because we connect spiritually and we understand eachother.We have traveled down the same paths in life and we are on the same road as far as our future in Christ. My experience with women who have not experienced what I have experienced has also been successful because I communicate with everyone, and I am straight forward. I come to the table with what I have and they bring what they have and either we form a bond or we don't.

Lydia: Do you think female friendships have value?

Dominique: Yes I feel that female friendships have value because women can vibe off of eachother. Women are emotional beings and we have different desires and needs that other women can relate to, so naturally the friendship has a value because we are different but like minded in many ways. My friendship with ladies that I actually talk to are valuable to me because they know me and they understand me and vice versa. We understand eachother and we share the same goals and desires in life.

Lydia: Did you always feel this way?

Dominique:No I didn't. When I was younger I went through a phase in my life when I did not want to socialize with females period. As I grew older I felt like I would benefit from a female relationship and they could benefit from me. I felt like we could be helpers one to another.

Dominique is a talented artist to hear her perform click the link. Your are in for a treat.

Dominique’s Site!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Beauty: The Benefits of Taking a Trip to the Spa

Have you thought about getting away for a week or two but the state of the economy has affected your ability to travel. Perhaps parenting or work related issues prevent you from going away for an extended period of time. An alternative is a day trip to your local Spa. This could be a good time to work on stress reduction.

Perhaps you are overwhelmed and do not realize it. Taking care of others has been such a priority in your life that proper eating, exercising, or leisure time has escaped your schedule. If you have been struggling with how to free your mind of stress a trip to the spa may be just what you need.

Depending on your budget determine the type of service you would like. There are spas that offer hair care, pedicures, as well as massages. Search your local directory you might find a spa that offers acupuncture and tanning services. If your budget allows and it has been a while since you have been away try to book an appointment for full service treatment.

Don’t be disappointed if you call a spa and they are booked up. This could be a sign of an establishment that has a great reputation in your community. You can also check with the local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau to put your mind at rest that you have chosen a safe place for your spa visit.

On of the best spa days I had was with a group of friends. It was an inspiring journey that we took together that we talked about for days. Everyone’s needs are different and it is just as beneficial if you desire to take advantage of a spa day by yourself.

You determine if you need a girl’s day out or some “me” time.

I must admit while I am only seeking to be relaxed and stressed free a day at the spa makes me feel and look younger. No kidding I like the way I look but the truth is all that rejuvenation has an impact on me physically and spiritually. You can compare a spa trip to having a makeover.

Google search online for spas in your area. Pay attention to pictures so you can try to find the environment you envision that will bring you peace of mind. When you find one you can ask if they give day passes, or if you can take a tour before you make your final decision.

Bottom line a spa visit will not remove your problems. However, while you wait for all the seeds you have planted in life to harvest this is an option that can help you along the way. Go ahead show yourself some love.

Click Here for anti aging, skincare and facial rejuvenation information.

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