HOPE….for the future????

Yesterday I was in the car with my son and we were talking about different songs and artists, I decided to let him hear my uncle,( his great uncle) sing.  As I listened to my uncle sing, it caused me to reflect on things that I have been said to me about wasting talent and using the talent that God has given to me.  Usually when I hear this, they are talking about singing in my church choir but I was able to mentally apply it to other talents that I have.  Why waste talent?  Why waste the natural gift that we have been given to enhance our lives and the lives of others? Everyone is talented in different areas and it is one of the things that make individuals unique.

When I am completing any assessment for my clients and/or families there is a section that asks about strengths and capabilities.  Why do you think that is?  It is not just a random question, there is a valid reason for asking a potential client what they feel their strengths are.  One reason is to be able to identify the good things about yourself,  identify the positive things that make you who you are .  Another reason is that the therapist or whatever type of clinician can utilize a person’s strengths to help them reach their goals.

authentic-leadership-focusing-on-strengths-and-solutions-22-638 Think of the last time that you went on a job interview,  the interviewer is known to ask “what your strengths are” or ” what are some of your qualities that others notice about you”.  Both of those questions are centered around the talents, abilities, or strengths of an individual.   I woke up this morning thinking about this topic and writing this post today.  This topic just blows my mind because we are our own worst critics.  We are so critical of ourselves that it causes us to turn a “blind eye” to our capabilities and we in turn, “sell ourselves short”.  I’m not saying that we are all meant to be rich with big houses and a lot of cars, but we are meant to be successful in our own definitions of success.

**************** Lets take a moment and reflect….What does success mean to you?***************************  

 To add to the meaning of this post my son used the word “talented” several times when describing his family today during an activity, creating an urgency for my to post these thoughts. talentsI am able to recognize my talents and although I do have a talent for singing, I am talking about other talents that contribute to who I am as an individual.  This acknowledgment brings me HOPE.  yes HOPE!!!! I’ve always had the idea that I have not reached my full potential and that I am not in my final season of my aspirations but daily I am shown things that contribute to my success.  I am shown things that gives me the HOPE that I have been “searching” for to validate my suspicions that there is a brighter future for my son and myself.  God does things in HIS time, I understand that.  I also understand that HE provides new opportunities when HE feels we are ready. I feel like I am being GROOMED and PREPARED for the things that I have been working so hard for.  The things that I have been hoping and dreaming for. I feel that sometimes we have to conquer adversity to gain access to our success.  How can you appreciate success if you have never experienced any type of disappointments or hardships.   Does this sound generic?  I realize that it might but regardless of how it seems I am very SERIOUS.  Don’t allow the dreams and aspirations that you have for yourself take a back seat in your mind,  continue to pray and water those dreams so that they can grow into goals while you provide plans and blueprints on how to reach them. hopegreatness

This has given me a new outlook on negative situations.  I used to get mad when people say “its going to get better” because realistically they are right but when you are in a bad situation, an individual does not really want to hear about futuristic peace….we want peace right now!!!!

The phrase “HOPE FOR THE FUTURE”, is true.  We have to have HOPE that we can do things.  I always tell my clients that NOTHING is impossible.  If there is something that you want, you try to get it.  There are many things that I want and I am still trying to get .  Just because things are not impossible doesn’t mean that it is going to just drop in your lap.  We still have to work for what we want. Do you feel that you are being “groomed” or prepared for great things.  What is your meaning of success?  Have you reached it?

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So today I went to a luncheon to discuss a program that I have been interested in for a while.  They hosted a free luncheon to connect with other professionals and learn more about the program.  I must say, it was great!!!! Not the food but the message that was delivered.  The speaker or host continued to emphasize the importance of following her inner self or your heart, being true to yourself and know what you want for yourself. Quotation-Bo-Bennett-life-realization-Meetville-Quotes-75079 HELLO!!!!! Was that confirmation or what???? I have been battling defining my purpose and identifying what I want for myself for the past few weeks.  While I was there, I met a few people with a common interest but it was one person in particular that I connected with.  You know, it made me reflect on my knowing that God will send someone to you toepiphany2 “communicate” what he has for you.  Im not saying that this program in particular is what is meant for me but I do know that I was able to connect with the host and the words that came from him and from others were on target.

Currently, the latest trend is staying afloat and working to provide for families. Which is what responsible adults are supposed to do.  What about the benefits of higher education or reaching a personal goal to bettering yourself?  Shouldn’t we be able to indulge in the pleasantries of success?  I reflected on the success of some individuals animages (1)d realized that it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to have what we want.  It is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to pursue your dreams.  It is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to act upon a vision.  I believe that the key is to continue to have the same drive and motivation in pursuing your career or life choices and you had when you were going through post secondary educational training.

This experience led me to write this post.  Let this be an inspiration to you to follow your psimplereminders.com-yes-within-us-pastiloff-2000wersonal purpose.  I have written previously about how to acknowledge your purpose and re-evaluating your life plan.  This confirms my previous thoughts.  It is so vital that we keep our perspective on what we want and what we feel will aid to our life and those that we care about. What are you personal goals and what do you think is holding you back?  Have you gotten your confirmation?


The BIG “S”

I have been thinking about writing about this topic for a few days but it is super important that I get it out.  It has finally caught up with me.  The big “S”.  I didn’t identify it at first because I am a licensed social worker, I work at a therapist.  Why do I have these crazy symptoms.  Why am I having problems sleeping? Why do I want to be left alone? ummmmm well a colleague had to remind me that although I am a therapist I am first a human being.  Its difficult recognizing the symptoms in yourself that you constantly see in others.  If you havent guessed it by now, its……. .stress-cartoon

The BIG “S” that no one should experience but everyone does.  It is crazy how some people mistake stress for a brief moment of a bad feeling or anxiety or panic.  But who knew how complex this phenomenon really is???? I know you have heard the saying “Stress can Kill you” and I can definitely see how.  If you don’t manage it properly, this monster can spiral out of control and leave you feeling awful.

stress 2  stress3

I found this article that lists signs that may mean you are under too much stress. http://www.levo.com/articles/lifestyle/5-signs-youre-under-too-much-stress. 1. Over or under eating.  How many of us use food to cope with our emotions or situations that we cannot control?  It can be a coping tool an unhealthy one at that.  On the other hand some people may eat less causing drastic weight loss, exacerbation of other health problems, and decline in metabolism.  2. Fatigue and problems sleeping.  Have you ever woke up and felt more tired than you did when you went to bed?  I was just thinking that my brain was still in full swing while I was sleep lol.  There are medical issues that can cause this symptom as well but I am talking about feeling like this without the medical issue.  This causes us to feel tired during the day and increases difficulty with completing daily tasks.  3. Headaches, muscle pain/ tension.  OMG!!!!! this was a dead give away for me.  I have been dealing with headaches consistently.  I thought it was sinus at one point but when it start traveling to other areas on my head, I knew something else was wrong.  I don’t have high blood pressure.  I drink a lot of water so where are the headaches coming from.  4. Changes in mood.  This is another one for me.  I have not been wanting to talk on the phone as much and those that know me, know that I love to talk lol.  I am easily aggravated.  Sometimes, I would rather be left alone.  A lot of times being left alone is not bad because this prevents you from taking your anger or irritability out on someone who does not deserve it.  5.  Lack of motivation or focus.  This is huge!!!!! This will make you feel CRAZY.  Like something is truly wrong with you.  All this time, you have been able to pay attention or complete things and now the desire to get things done has disappeared.


stress_management                                    I hope you copy and past the link I posted and read the full article because we have to take care of ourselves.  NOT just for ourselves but for the people we love and those that love us.  We can not let this STRESS develop into something bigger such as Depression, Anxiety,  and other disorders.  Learn appropriate coping skills.  Inappropriate coping skills can develop into substance use and abuse, alcoholism, can cause job loss and homelessness.  This is a real problem for most of us and we are still trying to find out what is going on.  I hope this post was helpful to you because STRESS can affect anyone.

stress-reducing-methodsDeep breathing and relaxation music, dancing, singing, exercising, writing, drawing, praying are all effective coping mechanisms.   Please don’t frown on the deep breathing idea because it really works.  The first time I did it properly, it was like a rush of air went to my brain and I felt a sense of calm fall over my body.  The key is breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly.

Prayer and meditation is so great.  When I pray, I always feel better when I am done.  The prayer does not necessary have to be a request but you can just simply discuss what is bothering you and your shoulders will feel lighter.  It’s a good feeling when you can count on God to help you through situations.

stress4Singing and dancing is great.  My son will tell you, I will break out in song in a minute  and don’t let it be a song that really speaks to my situation,  I am letting it all out then lol. Dancing allows you to be free.  Let those problems exit your body through your movements.  Allow the music to direct you movements.

My favorite is guided imagery.  I went to a mindfulness workshop and she had us do an exercise that was so intense it was hard to come back from.  This is the type of relaxation that is needed to assist us in escaping the rigors of daily life if only for a few minutes.

Exercise is definitely a great stress reliever.  I used to go to the gym faithfully and now that I think about it, I handled things a little better while working on my physique.  You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise.  You can walk outside, jump rope, play with your kids, play a dance game or sports game on the Wii, do squats, free weights or other body weight exercises in the home.

I didn’t intend to go into so much detail but this post was for me and my readers.  I hope that this has been a help to you.  I have definitely helped myself.  Let me hear from you!!!!


Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Childhood Revisited

This topic really peaked my interest but I am still trying to figure out why.  My childhood was not bad but I wouldn’t say it was good either. I had the parents, the loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all of that but I believe the outside looked better than the inside.  When I was younger, I felt as most children do, like I didnt have a voice.  I used my “voice” to journal or write poetry.  This is where I found my niche.  The more frustrated, I became, the better writing I did.  In my household, there were certain things that you could not discuss with your parents.  Did I want my parents to be my friend? NO but I think some discussions were needed.  There are several things that I wish was different about my childhood but instead of focusing on them, I want to focus on the things that I appreciated.

I am the oldest and although I did not like it growing up, I appreciate it now because I am very independent. Being the oldest I learned how to do a lot of things at an early age, household chores, using tools, taking care of siblings, cooking etc.., I have always been observant and I noticed a lot of things.  I can honestly say a lot of things that I have noticed as a child assisted me in learning what NOT to do when I got older.  I do appreciate the work ethic that my parents instilled in me.  I was trying to get a job at a very early age.  My grandmother used to take me to work with her at seasonal jobs so that I could make my own money, I babysat for the neighborhood kids, and I did little jobs here and there for a few dollars.  I liked being able to buy my own things for myself.  I liked being able to buy something for my parents or my siblings if I wanted.  It made me feel responsible.  Being the oldest, I did not get a lot of the attention that I wanted all the time.  This encouraged me to be an overachiever.  I tried extra hard in school to get good grades so I can be noticed. I also joined the choir and the band to get positive attention. I can appreciate that because I still strive to be my best and if I am in a position where I feel like I cannot be my best all the time then I must move on and find another way.

I do have a son and I feel like I am providing the best life that I can for him.  I am not his friend but he can come and talk to me about anything.  He knows right from wrong and he understands what it means to be respectful.  I have not had any behavior problems out of him in school because we have had that discussion about what I expect.  He too tries very hard in school because he likes positive recognition.  I teach him to be responsible and clean up after himself but at the same time I encourage him to be a kid.  I want him to live his life to the fullest.  I try to continue to model the importance of spirituality, family, education and hard work so that those are some values that he will continue to grow with.

I’m sure there is something that everyone wish that they can go back  and change but we cant.  What is really important is that we are able to look at our past experiences and create a better future.  The future is for looking forward not backward.  I could have filled this post with TONS of war stories lol but I dare not do that to anyone!!!!  What about your childhood and  how it has affected you?  How has it affected your children or even the lives of your family?  Let me hear it!!!

Thumbball Anyone?

So today while in a session with a client, I decided to bring a non traditional activity to do.  x8aw102_01_1 Its called a Thumbball….I swear I did not make that up, it is really called that.  Anyway they sell several different types of Thumbballs, they are used in a therapeutic or group setting to assist the client and or participants to open up and share some things about themselves.  It can be used as a relationship builder.  I like to use it to “break the ice” or to encourage my clients to be more open and refrain from “shutting down” emotionally.  So the concept is you toss the ball to the other person and when they catch it what ever area that their thumb lands on, they are to address that topic….These interventions, I tell you.  Im the therapist in the room and this thing had me in deep thought.


Some of the topics on my ball is “Cool Gift”. :Happiest Memory”, “Favorite Breakfast”, ” 3 Gross Foods”, “a lunch I like”, “great vacation place”, “animal you’d like to touch”, “describe your family”,”funniest cartoon”,”best pet to own”,”cool musician or song”,”favorite toy or game”,”best snacks”,in the summer I_________”, and “something you can draw”. There were more but I am tired of listing them lol.  I have an idea, in the comment section choose at least two items and talk about it in the comment section.  These questions cause you to think although they are simple “get to know you ” type of questions.  Once you comment on two items take a moment to share the thoughts that accompanied your answers.  Simple questions can cause some deep thought and reflection.  Let me know what you think about it.

“To thine own self be true”

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”-William Shakespeare.
So many use this quote but how many really abide by it?  We are not true to our families, our friends, society…..has it become hard for us to be true to ourselves.  I have been in some serious reflection about my purpose, my pain, my plan for happiness but I continue to hide behind a facade.  I am not saying that we have to air our dirty laundry for everyone to see but we must be true to ourselves about who we are as a person and how our roles define us.  What does it mean to be someone’s mate, someone’s parent, or someone’s sibling? We need to be true to ourselves about our wants, desires, and goals.

As I reflected on this subject, a poem  came to mind.  “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. we-wear-the-mask-poem

How many of us wear a mask? Hiding from the rest of the world how we are feeling or what we are thinking?  I know that I do sometimes.  We would be  very vulnerable people if we shared all of our emotions. Right??? This is ok….but what is not ok is when we begin to believe the facade, when we begin to believe the lie that we are alright and everything is perfect.  This only makes the issue worst.  This is why we must be true to ourselves and remember the mask is only to be worn on the outside.

I Am a Rock

Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why? 

I saw this “daily prompt” and thought it would be interesting to respond to it.  I would definitely say that I AM A ROCK or at least I try to be.  It is not easy to ask for help when I need it.  Why? I have experienced alot of scrutiny and negative feedback over the years.  Alot of times, it may not be expressed face to face but I hear about it nevertheless.  In my situation, I would prefer to rely on myself.  If I disappoint myself  well I can only blame myself.  I do have a spiritual belief and I pray to God to supply my needs as well.  I must admit when I am in a tight situation, I will ask for help.  I have an idea of individuals that I could go to that would only provide positive feedback and provide a true No judgment zone, I would ask those individuals before  any one else.

I wonder why it is so hard for us to help each other when we need it.  When it comes to helping others I try to think of the golden rule “treat others as you would want to be treated”.  Unfortunately, we have individuals that take advantage of kind and considerate individuals that ruin it for everyone.  It is ok to be a ROCK but when the EARTH shakes even rocks need something to “lean” on from time to time.  What do you think?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Am a Rock.”