Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Power of Conquering Fear

You must do the thing that you fear until the fear of that thing becomes no more.”
- Brian Tracy
One day, not too long ago,  I was looking for spiritual answers to some situations that I was facing. I got hit with the truth.  It was brought to my attention that my life and motives had been based on fear. I had feared that people would not love me if I stood up for myself. I had feared that people would not understand me when I needed them to. I had feared that failure would always overtake my efforts in life no matter how well I performed. Ultimately, in spite of the plethora of God-given talents and abilities, which I possess, I feared being a complete and total failure in life.

It was very shocking for me to come to this realization. I had always felt that I had a natural zest for life, but there was always a “glass ceiling” that I just could not seem to break through. I could always “see” what I could be, but actually becoming that person often time eluded me. You see, fear is a great paralyzer. It lulls one into believing that gloom and doom are always “inevitable.” Fear causes great people to accept mediocrity. It also causes death and destruction to lives and dreams of most people. Where there is overwhelming procrastination, there is fear. Where there is great anger, there is fear. Where there is extreme hatred, there is fear. Where there is complacency, there is fear. Where there was failure, ultimately, fear was there.
That brought me back to something else that I never consciously realized; that fear is a mind-set. Thus, anything that is set in your mind got there from a thought or set of thoughts. However, there is a good thing about thoughts. That good thing is that thoughts can be corrected by consciously choosing to think better thoughts. If you constantly fear that you are going to be “sick,” just as sure as the Titanic struck a block of ice in 1912, you are going to be “sick.” So to correct your “sickness” before it happens, start consciously choosing “healthy” thoughts.

This ideology holds true in most walks of life. Henry Ford, world-renowned industrialist and automotive pioneer, once stated that, “whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Ford often successfully overcame fear. You see, he only had a sixth grade education. By most standards, he would have been considered illiterate and ignorant. One thing was very true, Ford was very “ignorant.” Mr. Ford was so “ignorant,” that he committed himself to the “outrageous” dream of building automobiles with little formal education. Ford was so “ignorant,” that he pioneered the “V” shaped engine, something that his “smart” engineers said “couldn’t” be done. In essence, Ford was so “ignorant,” until he forgot to “fear” things that most people with his set of “limitations” were supposed to. I guess he just didn’t get fear’s memo!
I’m pretty sure that there is somebody out there right now driving their Taurus, Explorer, Expedition, or some other Ford family vehicle, to a job that is murdering their dreams of greatness. These people are probably 1000 times “smarter” than Henry Ford was. So “smart” that they think “security” is going to come by working for someone else the rest of their lives. I sincerely believe and teach people to be bold in their journey through life. Boldness breaks the bondage of fear. Boldness is defined as the willingness to face risk fearlessly.

What do you have dreams of doing or being? What is holding you back? For the first question, I know some people will answer things becoming a singer, writing a book, starting a new business, buying a new car, and etc. However, for the second question, I know that tons of fear-based excuses will come up. Things like, “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “I’m a woman,” “I’m Black,” “I don’t have a lot of money,” and the like. In this article, I have been spiritually led to tell you the truth. Your boldness will lead you to the result of question one, and defeat the untruths of question two. World-renowned writer, speaker, and pastor, Joyce Meyer, describes fear as “False Evidence Appearing Real.” The truth of the matter is that success at whatever it is you so choose, knows no such boundaries as race, sex, age, gender, creed, or religious preference. Thus there is no reason for fear to keep you in bondage anymore. The following, are five steps to unleashing your power over F.E.A.R.

5 Steps to Unleashing Your Power Over Fear

Become “ignorant” to fear
Don't let fear have time to think
Always speak faith
 and belief
Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself
Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears

Become "ignorant" to fear:
Fear appears in many different forms. It can come from negative self (i.e. “I can’t do this,” “I’m not good at this,” etc.). It can come from negative media forecasts (i.e. bad predictions of the economy, bad weather reports, reports of murder, gossip, etc.). Remember the story of Henry Ford? He could have been nothing in this lifetime because of what he could not do (and the reasons were numerous), but his fears took a back seat to his ability to ignore any ideas that were not in congruence with his dream. Therefore, you must mute the voice of fear by limiting (or completely eliminating) your contact with fear-causing entities (i.e. news reports, newspapers, failure-conscious people, etc.).
Don't let fear have time to think:
Thoughts are powerful. A single thought can be responsible for life or death in this world. And anything that you think about long enough will find its way into the physical realm. Therefore, if you were to spend time thinking about the things that you want out of life (I mean conscious concentrate), you begin to see them. Conversely, the same is true for the things that you don’t want in life. Commit your time to faith and believing, not fear and doubt.
Always speak faith and belief:
According to scripture, life and death are in the power of the tongue. God framed this world from faithful speech (Genesis 1). Fear lives in doubt and disbelief. To frame your own world free of debilitating fear, always think, act, and speak positively in faith and belief. Be bold and say things as you want them to be in your life. If it is a new house you want, say it! If it is a new car you want, say it! If it is a successful family life you want, say it! If it is a better job that you want, say it! As Henry Ford once stated, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself:
I have a motto that goes like this, “If I know who and what I am, no one can tell me who and what I am not!” No matter what the world has decided to think about me, I have decided to think great thoughts about myself. Therefore, I am free of world’s often limiting belief system. I don’t worry about things like weather reports, poor economic forecasts, what celebrity just went to jail, and who does not believe in my dreams, because if God is for me, who or what can be against me (Romans 8:31)? Decide who and what you are right now and do not be moved negativity.
Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears:
Success is active. Action dispels fear. If you sit still, fear has the time to paralyze your abilities and efforts, ultimately, causing you to fail. Continue to move toward your goals with great diligence and great courage!

                                                    Good luck and may success embrace you!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Most of us do our best to make sure that our children feel good about themselves but often, as adults, we tend to overlook that in ourselves. We may have started in life with high self-esteem, but every day life can erode our positive self image. It does not have to be extraordinary events that knock our good feelings out of the ring, even daily living experiences can take their toll. For example, the boss who never has and never will appreciate your work. Or, the favored older sibling who managed to stay married to the same spouse forever and to have important scientific papers published. The realization that we are not going to be perfect parents. And, then, there is always the aging process to pull the rug out from under. Gravity, wrinkles, graying hair, loss of muscle tone, and all the things that begin to go wrong with your body and your memory as you age, can take away even more of your self-confidence.

Some people never had much in the way of self-esteem to begin with. You may have had a difficult childhood that made you feel bad about yourself. You may have had parents who were too busy earning a living or simply trying to survive to let you know how great you were and how much you meant to them. You may even have had mean parents or no available parents, so there was no one important in your life to tell you how important you were in theirs. Children can rarely go beyond the emotional boundaries set by their parents, at least not while they are still growing up. So, if you don't like yourself, your children will not learn how to like themselves. And, if none of you is confident and happy about who you are, then you will not feel entitled to seek each other out when you are in need.

Healthy self-esteem lets adults take healthy risks, so when the job goes, you feel good enough about yourself to jump into the job market and find another. Knowing that you are capable in that way gives your family a feeling of strength against the unknown. Healthy adult self-esteem also protects you from letting others treat you badly. That means that your children will see you give and expect respect and good treatment from others. They won't see you get symbolically pounded, they won't see you victimized, and they will see that you can recover from the torrents. When your children see you being strong, they know that their family is strong. If we do not like ourselves, others will find fault as well.

Sometimes, our busy lives can erode our self-esteem even before we know it. While we are busy taking care of everyone else, our own needs get put aside until we are so full of unmet needs that we begin to think that is all we are. Just a constantly draining well of neediness that has no way of re-filling. We have to remember that we are important to our families, to our selves, and to the other people in our lives. We have to remember that we have value and that we deserve to look in the mirror and say "My goodness, that is a fine person looking at me today."

If you would like to increase your self-esteem, here are some things you might want to try.

Set personal boundaries. Nothing drains us of self-esteem faster than letting other people walk all over us. It might be the boss who always makes you work late, it might be the teen who daily lists your faults, it might the spouse who loves you but can't remember your birthday, it might be the parent who still criticizes the way you fold your towels. Take a look at your life and determine where you need to say "Stop" and then stick with it.

Spend time with your children. That's right, carve out some extra time in your busy week to have some fun time with your kids. There is nothing like seeing how much your children love being with you to make you realize how important and valuable your place in their world is.

Make a list of your accomplishments. Every couple of months, write out everything you have accomplished. It does not have to be something huge, just the daily stuff of life, such as: got the plumbing fixed, finished report at work on deadline, gave spouse a wonderful birthday party, managed to give kids summer holiday despite limited budget. Those are the things that make up life. Tolstoy did a great job of writing War and Peace, but did he do anything else in that time period, or did his wife and his lover take care of the daily grind? I bet those two women accomplished far more than he did, and I bet they were never thanked. You may never be thanked either, but you need to validate the things you do that keep your family going.

Try something new. Self-esteem does not come to those who sit and wait. You have to get out there and try something in life. If the things you are currently doing don't make you feel good, then try something new. Take a course, learn to paint furniture, take up bowling, become an amateur rose grower. It doesn't matter what you try, just try something. Even if it doesn't work out, you can at least feel better for having tried.

Set the bar lower. Many of us judge our own success by measuring ourselves against others (the cousin who owns the mortgage free lake house to die for?). Well, you may never have a house like hers or pay off the mortgage, but that may be because you are raising many children. Our small successes are just as valuable to our family and to the world as the major successes of others.

Get a good hairdresser or barber. Studies have shown that the first thing people notice in others is their hair. And, I bet that you know that when you look in the mirror, how your hair looks has a major impact on how good you feel about yourself. It doesn't matter if this is a superficial value, it is a value nonetheless, and a good hair cut can make you like yourself more. Take the time and the money from the family's resources to give yourself this boost. It will make everyone feel better, not just you.

Exercise. You can exercise without changing your lifestyle. Just add a ten minute walk at night, or a couple of sit ups during the afternoon. This isn't about losing weight or building muscles, it's about getting those exercise induced 'feel good' hormones going again.

o Jettison the baggage. Take a look at your life and determine who needs to be in it with you and whose time is over. Sometimes we have friends, or even relatives, who have been important to us at one point, but whose presence has become a problem. You can maintain some part of the relationship, but take a look at the ways  you need it to change, or if it is still worth retaining.

Spend time with friends. There is nothing like being with people who like us to make us like ourselves. You don't have to drop your family responsibilities to carouse with your buddies, but you can find one event a month that is just you and a couple of friends. Maybe it is lunch outside of the office with colleagues with whom you have a special affection, or may be it is a movie night out with the girls (or guys) who have been friends long enough to really know you. Create the time and make sure your family knows that it is important that they cooperate in your attending.

Make friends. For many of us, our busy-ness and the way we have to categorize each part of our life (parent, adult child, worker, soccer mom) has decreased our ability to make or keep friends. Try different ways to have friends. For example, set a date on the calendar to have a neighborhood bar-be-que and send fliers out to all your neighbors. Follow up by asking them to bring something and getting R.S.V.Ps. Or, start chatting with someone who looks responsive at your church or social event group. Or, start talking to some of the other soccer moms and dads and see if you can strike up a friendship there. Is there someone at your exercise club (remember, you are going to exercise) who you think you have a lot in common with?

Keep your bedroom clean. You may already do this, but many of us don't. We make sure that every other room in the house is clean and tidy, but we never get around to the place that is supposed to be our sanctuary at the end of the day. Make this room your priority. Keep it looking welcoming and pleasant. This is where you are you, where the pretense is dropped and where you unwind. So, make the space attractive, tidy, clean, and a place where you really want to end the day.

Throw out your old clothes. You don't need reminders of what no longer fits, or of a lost youth. If you have outgrown an article of clothing, either by size or by age, then get rid of it. You can't make room for the best you that you are now, if you are hanging onto a version of you that no longer exists.

Get a pet that you like. Often, we buy our pets because of what we think our children need. May of us think that our kids need an "Old Yeller" type of dog (one that doesn't have to be shot, of course), to teach them responsibility, or to watch over them, etc. But, the truth is it is generally the parents who take care of the animal. So, forgo the turtle that will eventually hibernate in the back of the closet and only come out once a year, and buy what you want. Some kind of dog or cat or even a lizard if that is what you like. Just so that it is honestly yours. I once read in a book that of all the memories that stick with a person through life, it is the memory of the look in the eyes of a faithful and loving dog that will sustain and comfort us in old age. Well, I hope you have more than that to comfort you in your twilight years, but for the present, get a pet that loves you unconditionally during all the times that no one else does.

o Act as if you have high self-esteem. If you can't feel good about yourself just yet, then act as if you do. That will cause other people to treat you better and then soon enough, you will begin to actually feel like you deserve their good treatment.

                    EAT WELL. BE WELL.
                GET A LITTLE HELP FROM
                         THE FRESH DIET

The Fresh Diet is about more than weight loss, it is also about optimal nutrition. Eating healthy foods and being physically active can make you feel better about your body. Why? Because eating a healthy diet will help you feel energized and keeps your body working just the way it should.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

****** DO YOU HAVE HOPE? ******

HOPE sometimes gets a bad rap and not everyone has a good relationship to it. Some people believe that hope is something that only weak people do while lying around waiting for what they want to happen. Others equate hope with being helpless or childlike. But true hope can be a powerful tool and ally.

SOMETIMES we can learn a lot about a word by exploring it's opposite state. Many of us have experienced hopelessness and can agree on its meaning. Whether we have left it in ourselves, or seen it in another, it is not a pleasant experience. It's as if the life force that normally radiates out of someone is diminished. Feeling hopeless drains our energy leaving us feeling lost and depleted.

HOPE on the other hand, lifts our spirits and gives us energy. Hope reminds us that any outcome is possible and that we are not alone. It moves us beyond independence, hard work, and effort and enlists the help and support of the universe. Hope does have a childlike essence to it. But often we need a certain amount of innocence to take on the things we truly desire. Hope has the word "hop" in it which gives us a clue to it's nature. When we hop, we take a quick leap. we allow ourselves the expectation of fulfillment.

HOPE reminds us that we are not alone. It calls out to the universe and asks for assistance. Hope believes in our dreams and aspirations. It activates our strength and courage. It is an invaluable tool and ally when we support it with action and focus. This week notice your relationship to hope and see if it's present in your life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


rying your hand at gardening may be a best-kept secret to getting and staying in shape. Gardening can be a great workout and boost for the body and soul-- if you do it right.

 Gardening is an enjoyable pastime that is widely available to anyone interested. There is no need to go to a fancy gym or spend money on exercise equipment. Your gym is the outdoors, surrounded by nature and fresh air. Your equipment can be found in gardening tools such as rakes, hoes, mowers, wheelbarrows, clippers, shovels, and watering cans.  
  Both gardening and yard work contributes to healthy living. Approximately 300 calories an hour can be burned just by gardening. Not only can you burn calories, but in the end you’ll have a beautiful landscape to show for it as well. Gardening can actually lower blood pressure and cholesterol or prevent diabetes, heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis when practiced on a regular basis. Gardening gives all major muscle groups a good workout including your legs, arms, buttocks, stomach, neck, and back. Whether it comes in the form of digging up soil, setting plants or carrying water, exercise is taking place. Weeding, pruning, mowing, and even walking around the yard can increase heart rate and tone up the body. Your brain even gets a chance to workout as you plan garden designs and absorb information from resource materials.
Gardening is a good way to lose inches from your waistline. Not only is it fun and relaxing, but there is no diet regimen to follow. You’re simply doing what you already love. If done on a regular basis, you can lose weight without even being aware that you’re doing it. In fact, there are lots of gardening chores that can burn fat; and if you are able to burn off more calories than you consume, weight loss should come with ease. One good way to burn those unwanted calories is by choosing to mow the lawn with a push mower rather than riding. Believe it or not, this can burn up to 300 calories or more. Other yard work like raking and pruning can burn close to 200 calories; and even simple garden tasks such as tilling, digging, planting, and weeding can burn up to 200 calories as well. However, not everyone has the same metabolism; therefore, don’t rely solely on gardening for weight loss.
As with any form of exercise, there are risks if you overdo it. Therefore, you should pay attention to your body and exertion level. Take frequent breaks. Never use your back for lifting and avoid bending over for extended periods to prevent neck and back strain. Try not to accomplish too much at one time. Instead, limit your activities by breaking down your gardening tasks each day into short intervals. Just 10 minutes of moderate activities throughout the day can benefit your health. For instance, rather than weed the entire garden at one time, try doing it for only 10-15 minutes. Take a break and go to something else such as raking leaves or turning compost for another 10-15 minutes.
Gardening has a positive effect on not only your physical health but mental health as well. Gardening allows your creative side to shine through leaving you with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Gardening can stimulate all of your senses. The garden is filled with all sorts of sights, sounds, textures, scents, and tastes. It may even stimulate long-forgotten memories. These stimulated senses can easily relieve and reduce unwanted stress associated with everyday life, allowing you a much deserved break from these outside distractions. Gardening connects you with others as well as with nature. This healthy hobby is one that can be enjoyed and practiced by everyone in the family and at any age. Gardening also benefits your health when you choose to grow and eat your own food. When you grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, you know exactly what’s been done to it; whereas, commercially grown produce may have been treated with unsafe pesticides and fertilizers. Of course, nothing quite compares to the fresh, sweet taste of food that has been grown and harvested from your own garden either.
You can cover ugly walls with bright vines and hanging flowers as I've done in these photos. 
You can plant flowers and flowering shrubs so the view from every window in your home can bring you pleasure that is so good for the heart and soul. You'll see how the garden constantly changes from season to season.

Always remember to stretch first! You'd stretch before going to the gym, wouldn't you. It's also good to do a few stretches in between garden jobs as well as after.
Older people, even those with memory problems, thrive in a community gardening situation. Special gardens have also sprung up for the blind, wheelchair users (raised beds) and people with mental disabilities. just walking into a fragrant warm greenhouse can change someone's whole mood.

Who knew exercise could be so much fun!

Now you're ready for a break. So sit down in a cozy corner in your garden, and have yourself a delicious piece of THE FRESH DIET'S Cheesecake. You deserve it!