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Join us on Thursday April 16, 7-8pm for another opportunity to chat it up with the Awaken Your Life Purpose community!
We have great prizes!
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If a picture could speak a thousand words....
If ever a picture could speak a thousand words, then the one above, would be one such a picture. Today on the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a day that will forever live in infamy, in looking at this picture, I am reminded about all the countless sacrifices that were made and lives that were lost all in the name of equality! In looking at this picture, I am also reminded that were it not for those sacrifices, it would have not been possible for this country to even have been at a point where the racial climate, allowed for the election of its first African American president! Just pause and think about that for a moment. Notice the "Smiles" on the faces of many of the elderly marchers, who no doubt, probably were a part of the original marchers some 50 years ago. I can't help but think that the smiles on their faces, represent feelings of a victory in a long fought battle, that has finally led to the day when they can proudly join hands with this country's First (TWO TERM), African American President!
In looking at this picture, I see the courage and strength of a generation, who despite the threat of violence and even death, were willing to push on in the face of fear. In looking at this picture, I am reminded about the severe beating that was inflicted on Congressman John Lewis on that day. Yet today, even after 50 years, he continues to work tirelessly in the name of justice and equality. In looking at this picture, I see the youth and future of tomorrow, joining with the pioneers of yesterday walking towards what might have never been had it not been for the tragedies of the past.
In Dr. Martin Luther King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, which for those of you who don't know, happened to be his last speech before he was assassinated, he talked about seeing the future of the Civil Rights Movement from the top of a mountain where the movement has succeeded through the power of non-violence and love. In my opinion, as a country, we still have not quite achieved making it to the mountain top as referenced by Dr. King, however, if we continue to make LOVE the rule and not the exception, then maybe one day we can all see "The Promised Land."
Photos courtesy of: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/selma-marks-50th-anniversary-of-march-across-the-edmund-pettus-bridge-1425711535-slideshow/president-barack-obama-speaks-near-edmund-pettus-bridge-photo-214356557.html
On this day, that we honor the legacy of a man who stood for peace and for what was right, I am also reminded of all the sacrifices that were made not only by Dr. King, but also by the many men and women of the Civil Rights Movement. People such as, John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Rosa Parks, Ralph D. Abernathy, Diane Nash and Dr. C.T. Vivian, just to name a few. Many of these young men and women made a conscious choice to stand against what was wrong even if it meant risking physical harm or even faced with death. Can you imagine the type of courage that it took? Dr. King is quoted as saying that, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." This resonates with me, as being a very poignant and thought provoking question given the racial climate that we live in today. This is also a question for our everyday lives. I myself, am challenged on a daily basis and how I choose to respond in the face of those challenges, can make all the difference with regards to walking in peace or in constant turmoil.
Evidence of just how this challenge was faced, can be seen played out in real life, during the Civil Rights Movement. Just this past weekend, I had the pleasure of viewing the movie "Selma" that was inspired by and based on the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights, which is known as a pivotal and emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. The three marches that took place, in an effort to gain the right to vote for Black Americans, is a powerful testimony in which the challenges of hatred were met with PEACE! Although, there were moments that were difficult and upsetting to watch, I found the movie to be enlightening as well as educational. I must applaud the writers and the especially the director, Ava DuVernay, for her vision, but more importantly for her courage to present, the sometimes ugly truth about the journey and the struggle, that eventually led to the passing of the Voters Right Act of 1965.
What I also loved about the movie, that it pointed out the human side of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his personal and emotional struggles. What do I mean? Well, I am not disputing the fact, that Dr. King is one of the greatest moral leaders of our time, however, we often times forget that he was a man with the same imperfections that we all struggle with from time to time. He was a man that wanted to do God's will but needed God's help to do it. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of emotional and personal struggles that he and his family had to endure, all in the name of justice and freedom.
This movie also educated us, about some of the other key players or unsung heroes in the struggle, that were instrumental in bringing about change along side of Dr. King. It solidified in my mind, that had it not been for many of these men and women of courage, and their willingness to stand side by side with Dr. King, many of the rights and freedoms that we have come to often take for granted today, would not have come to pass. One of those individuals, portrayed in the movie, is Civil Rights Living Legend, Dr. C.T. Vivian. In early 2013, my partners and I, had the distinct honor and pleasure of meeting and interviewing Dr. Vivian in his Atlanta home. It is a moment that I will not forget! I can not begin to tell you how profound and sharp (not to mention handsome) he is! His spirit exudes a type of peace that can't be explained in words. I did my best to soak up the knowledge and wisdom that he shared with me during the interview. So just imagine how humbled I felt, when Dr. Vivian complimented me on the creation of "There is Life After Layoff" and the fact that it is a much needed forum! All glory goes to God, which is what I shared with Dr. Vivian, for trusting me with the vision. Nonetheless, Dr. Vivian's kind words of encouragement also gave me an extra boost of confidence in knowing that I too have a responsibility. That responsibility is to choose to live a life of "Peace" even in the face of adversity and challenge while fulfilling my destiny by inspiring others to discover and walk in their purpose!
Thank you for your sacrifices!
First and foremost, my sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Stuart Scott, who succumbed this morning (1/4/15) to the disease of cancer. Many of you may know him best as the ever vocal ESPN Sports Anchor with the gift for spinning the vernacular. But, he was so much more than that. His life was a shining example of what it meant to truly persevere.
Just recently he was awarded with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYS this past year, where he referenced a 1993 speech given by Jimmy Valvano, that urged others to "Never Give Up!" This took on a whole new meaning after Mr. Scott explained that he had just spent several days in the hospital in which he had endured several surgeries, kidney failure and numerous other issues, yet because of his will to fight, and never give up,he was able to stand and accept his award. Talk about perseverance!
Having lost my mother to lung cancer at the young age of 57, I know all too well how it feels to loose a parent to this deadly disease. My mother was one of those people who never gave up and was determined to have "quality of life" as long as she remained on this earth. Because of her will to live, she out-lived the prognosis that the doctors had originally given her by several years. It is my belief that because she had such a strong will to live, she was able to fight and persevere through even the toughest of life threatening circumstances.
"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live." -Stuart Scott
So the next time you are faced with life's challenges, and you feel like giving up, DON'T! It's during the journey that you grow and learn the most. Think about the people who love and care about you and who are depending on you to push your way through. "Thank you" Mr. Scott for setting such a good example and for living in a manner that will serve as a constant reminder of what it truly means to persevere even in the face of the worst of circumstances. Thank you for setting the bar high. RIP Mr. Scott.
With the start of the new year, most of us set out with the best of intentions and set so-called resolutions for a better year. Personally speaking I look at setting goals rather than resolutions for the mere fact that, how many of us actually accomplish, the oftentimes unrealistic resolutions that we set for ourselves? I mean, let's just keep it real for a moment. I myself have been guilty of this in the past, until I realized that all I was doing was setting myself up for failure. To know that this is true, all you have to do is look at the definition of the word resolution which according to Oxford Dictionary is : "a firm decision to do or not to do something." Enough said.
As I said earlier, instead of making resolutions, I have decided instead, to set goals for myself. Setting the goals is the easy part, but in and of itself, it's is not enough either. How many times have you set a goal to accomplish or do something and for one reason or another, you always seem to fall short? Join the crowd! Been there, done that "wrote a song about it, like to hear it? Here we go!" (for those of you who remember the show "In Living Color") Let's face it, we all lead hectic and busy lives. But let me let you in on a little secret, God calls us to live "Fruitful" lives not "Busy" lives! Think about that for a minute. I don't think that there is one of us, (present company included) that hasn't said at one time or another, "I'm too busy!" What I have learned, is that the truth of that statement is, that I'm just not using my time wisely. Ouch! That's a post for another day! LOL!
Back to the subject of setting goals instead of making resolutions. Make the decision to start the new year off by setting goals that are S-M-A-R-T (Specific-Measurable-Attainable-Realistic-Time Bound) The S.M.A.R.T. goals technique is the most popular method used for goal setting in the world today. It allows you to set realistic goals that you can achieve. In addition to setting goals, understand that it's not enough to simply set them, but you must also develop a plan for achieving them, and to follow through with those plans.
Which finally brings me to the main focus of this post. So now that you have set your goals, have a plan in place for achieving and following through with them, who is going to help to hold you accountable so that you don't loose momentum? Everybody is excited and gung-ho in the beginning, but then somehow or another, the excitement starts to fade. This is when you need an accountability partner or group of partners who will encourage you to not give up when those naysayers or negative minded people (yes we all know a few in our lives), try to discourage or as they say "hate" on your dreams or goals! When this happens, this is the time to call upon those likeminded individuals who are generally happy for and support your success.
So on this last day of 2014, I challenge you to not only make a list of S.M.A.R.T. goals, develop a plan for achieving and following through with them, but most importantly, make a list of individuals who you can count on to fill your tank and inspire you take it to the next level "when your get up and go has got up and gone" (as stated by Joyce Meyer)! They will help you get it back! Much success to you in 2015 on reaching your goals! I believe in you!
LET'S DO THIS!
Happy New Year and thank you for your support!
We find ourselves once again in full swing of the holiday season. A time when most people think about giving or helping others. For me, it is a time of reflection and a time to really think about all the many blessings in my life. What does it mean to be thankful? By definition, it means: "It is a time to be aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful." Simple enough right? Wrong! I say that because although it may sound simple, in my personal opinion, there is a serious lack of gratitude not only in the world but also in our everyday lives. I'm guilty too of not taking the time to stop and smell the roses from time to time and complaining about what I don't have verses what I have already been blessed with. Shame on me.
I truly believe that it's just part of human nature for us to from time to time, want more than what we already have or to want what somebody else has. But that doesn't make it right. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things, but it becomes a problem when we allow that desire or want to consume us and to steal our happiness if we don't get what we want. I came across this quote which seems to sum up everything that I am trying to say here that I want to share with you. It simply states that , "Happiness isn't about getting what you want all the time. It's about loving what you have and being grateful for it." Bam! There it is in a nutshell! I mean just stop and think about that for a moment and what it means. When you think about it, this is a reality check and a very powerful statement!
In my heart I believe that we block our own blessings because we don't know how to appreciate what we do have. This is a life lesson that parents, including me, oftentimes struggle to teach their children. Largely because we want to give them all of the things that we didn't have growing up which then leads to over indulgence. So what I'm saying is that we can't blame our children for something that we allowed to happen. Ouch, that one hurt! But it's not too late to turn it around, especially if you have young children.
One sure fire way, of teaching yourself and your children, to learn to appreciate and be thankful for what you have, is by reaching out and helping others. Just recently I was blessed to meet a young woman who like me, has unfortunately been affected by a layoff. Although, she has struggled with dealing with the emotional impact that this life altering event can have on and individual, she has not allowed it to change her heart for wanting to serve and help others. In the short time that I have been privileged to know her, she has had such a profound impact on my life with regards to what community outreach really means. Her life is a shining example of how, despite her personal circumstances, helping others has opened up a window of opportunity, that I personally feel is leading her towards her God ordained purpose and destiny! "Thank You" for inspiring me to be a better me in the upcoming new year!
I had the fortunate opportunity to share her story on my talk radio show and I would like to share it with you. So please take a listen!
If your family is anything like mine, then you too look for any excuse to add to the family photo album. The holiday season is just one of those times and the perfect opportunity to pull out the camera and click away! As wonderful and fun as this may sound, taking the perfect photo or video, can be easier said than done for those of us (like me) who are what I call "camera challenged!" LOL! Yes, I'll be the first to admit, that I'm not necessarily the perfect choice for the person you may want to ask to capture one of those precious moments. That's alright and I can own up to that. But, as I am always willing to learn and grow, I have found a solution for all of my "camera challenged" comrades out there!
Never fear, have I got the perfect camera for you! Check out the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy, the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. It is one of the best-selling DSLR's. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression. Here are some of those features:
Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video; Continuous autofocus while taking HD video; Features an 18.0-Megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images; 3" vari-angle touchscreen that simplifies navigation.
This is one of those cameras that will not only impress the most "camera challenged" of users but also the seasoned professionals out there as well. At this time, you can save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy for a limited time (12/7-12/20). Visit Best Buy to learn more.
Check it out and overcome "camera challenged syndrome" and impress your friends and family this holiday season!
@BestBuy #CanonatBestBuy #HintingSeason @CanonUSAimaging
Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free
Have you ever met a person that, instantly you know that there is something special about them? I have met one such a person in Ms. Kimberly Wright, CEO/Founder of Jon Ashton PR & Breathless Moments Media. I had the fortunate opportunity of meeting Ms. Kimberly at my first National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) Atlanta Chapter meeting. She happens to be the chapter president and WOW! Right from the start I knew that she was a force to be reckoned with. She has a spirit for empowering others to be successful and especially women! She has done just that for me from the moment that I met her!
Here's a little bit about who she is:
Kimberly Wright is a natural leader, loving mother, pioneering Renaissance woman, prolific speaker, ardent philanthropist, multi-passionate entrepreneur, community advocate, keen wordsmith and publicist extraordinaire. She auspiciously pursues success, happiness and peace. Raised to reach for the stars and reared with the belief of "Service is the rent we pay for living...," Kimberly is a naturally service oriented individual. At the core of Kimberly's principles, is her passion for empowering single mothers and their children beyond measure, no matter the circumstances.
Kimberly is the proud business owner and CEO of JonAshton PR and Breathless Moments Media. JonAshton PR is a global boutique agency specializing in Public Relations, Branding, Marketing, Social Media Management and Publicist services. With over 20+ years in the business, JonAshton provides these services for authors, conferences, major events and speakers. You can learn more about Kimberly and her services by visiting one of her websites at www.JonAshton.com / www.breathlessmomentsllc.com / www.KeystrokesbyKimberly.com
I had the awesome opportunity of welcoming Kimberly as a guest on my radio show "There is Life After Layoff" (airs Tuesdays, 7-8pm and broadcast by Atlanta Life Radio www.atlantaliferadio.com) as she shared with us, how her layoff experience served as a gateway into entrepreneurship and started her on a journey of success and helping others be successful too! She is a "Game Changer" and inspires to help others learn how to step up their game and change the rules that say you can't be a success outside of the corporate environment! I invite you to take a listen!
Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy gift card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.