Ash Wednesday:Time To Plant A Lenten Garden.

Image result for lent signs
Courtesy:TurnbacktoGod.com

Lent, a time for Christians around the world to have spiritual spring cleaning: It is where we examine our lives and clean out everything which keeps us from having a relationship with Christ. We begin the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday as ashes mixed with oil are placed on our foreheads to show our repentance.

This season is a new beginning for Christians as we are called to conversion, and to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12) Lent is a great gift of the Church to us. Yes, Lent is about prayers, fasting and alms-giving for 40 days as we prepare for Easter.  It is not just about denial and sacrifices, but for us to rediscover the love God has for us and to find our way home to God, and to one another.
Now is the time to say to Jesus: “… in a thousand ways I have shunned your love,

yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you.  I need you.  Save me once again, Lord,

take me once more into your redeeming embrace.”   (The Joy of the Gospel)

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel.

Below are some suggestions to plant a Lenten Garden and prepare for Easter during this 40 days of preparation.

Catholic Child.com: Teachings and treasures for Catholic youth, toddler through teen.:
Courtesy:Catholic Child

May this season of Lent be one of rediscovery, joy and love.

 

Enough is Enough: Become a Better You!

Enough is Enough: Become a Better You!

BY

ROSSANA S MOHAMMED.

As you start 2017, do you plan to improve your health, your finances, your relationships and your families? Or are you going to go through 2017 the same like last year? Are you going to do the same thing, keep the same friends who are negative, eat the same food that makes you unhealthy, keep the same job that makes you miserable and expect different results?
According to the Urban dictionary, this is insanity.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.Working a job and expecting to get rich is insanity.

It is time to wake up and take hold of your life and make the changes that you deserve. Enough is enough for you have no excuses. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, today is the day that you change that feeling.  Stop blaming your parents, your childhood, your race, your country, and take responsibility for your life.

Our greatest enemies are the ones within and nobody can stop you from achieving your dreams, only you. You are alive if you are reading this. According to Medina, yesterday, January 17, 2017, about 153, 424 died. So get up today with joy in your heart for you are alive, and become excited with what you can do with  your life today. You can become whatever you set your heart and sight on.

Tomorrow when you wake up instead of greeting the morning with, “Good God, its morning already”, say instead, “Good Morning God, it is a beautiful day and I will accomplish great things today!” Thank you for the many blessings that are coming my way today. There are 86,400 seconds in one day, what are you going to do with them?

Here are 3 ways to change your life today:

Have A Goal.

Talk to any successful man or woman, and they will tell you that they have written goals with a road map on how to achieve those goals. Write down your goals with a date with which you will acquire them. Be specific about your goals and for example, if you want to lose weight, say, I want to lose 10 lbs by June 17, 2017 and write that down. Read it every morning and night.

Take Responsibility.

Stop looking to others for their approval and reclaim your power. Listen to your inner voice as to how you are feeling. Don’t listen to the naysayers who say it cannot be done. This is your life, don’t live it for someone else. What do you want to do right now? Go out and start doing it. Don’t blame others for your situation, become the master of your own destiny by taking responsibility for it.
Enough is Enough.

Everyday do five things that will get you closer to your goals.

 

These can be five small acts but be consistent, and do them everyday to get closer and closer to your goals. At the end of the day, write down five things that you “Must” do tomorrow to get you closer to your goals. Below are 5 things to do daily if you want to become healthier or lose weight.

  1. Start exercising daily.

    Start out small and then increase your time. So exercise for 20 minutes daily and then as the weeks go by, make it 30 minutes, then eventually 60 minutes.

  2. Be conscious of what you eat.

    Keep a food journal and record daily how much you eat as this will help you control how much calories you are eating. Also having it in writing will remind you when last you ate. Studies have shown that people who have a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who did not have one.

  3. Start by eating smaller amounts of desserts.

    Don’t go cold turkey for the more you deprive yourself the more you are going to want it. So enjoy that chocolate cake but just have a sliver of it.

  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

    Instead of loading up your desks with candy and cookies, keep cut up vegetables fruits, and munch on those.

  5. Move whilst you watch TV.

    During commercial, move around. Do some pull ups, jumping jacks, run up and down a stairs, dance or lift some weights.

2017 is a new beginning, seize the year, and the day. Reach for your goals and dreams, and stay in the game of life. 153, 424 people did not make it yesterday. Reach out to Families411 in our comment section and let us know how you are going to make your dream a reality.

Enough is Enough! Reclaim 2017.

Take Personal Responsibility For 2017!

Planning brings your future into present

It isn’t enough just to want something.

You’ve got to ask yourself, ‘What am I going to do to get the things that I want.’

You’re going to need a plan.

Your challenge is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are right now and the goals that you want to reach. With a definite, step by step plan, you cannot fail, because each step will carry you along to the next step, like a track.

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.

Knowing where you’re going is all you need to get there.

You can’t get lost on a straight road.

Author Unknown

Where are you going in 2017?

What is your plan to get there?

What is your Road Map?

Do you have the Courage?

Below are two people who had courage to go get what they wanted in life even though they faced rejections and one had to overcome an extreme abusive childhood. What is stopping you from achieving your dreams in 2017?

Walt Disney was fired from his first job because he lacked imagination. 300 banks turn down his Walt Disney theme park idea, and he was even bankrupt.  But Walt was determined to fulfill his dream.  Today, he is worth billions from his movies, merchandise and theme parks.

“To some people, I am kind of a Merlin who takes lots of crazy chances,

but rarely makes mistakes.

I’ve made some bad ones, but, fortunately,

the successes have come along fast enough to cover up the mistakes.

When you go to bat as many times as I do,

you’re bound to get a good average.”

Tyler Perry,went from homelessness to one of Hollywood’s most successful moguls. As a child he suffered severe abuse and molestation. His father beat him mercilessly, and Perry tried to commit suicide to escape the beating. He was molested by three men and was also molested at the age of 10 by his friend’s mother.  Perry used his faith for comfort and refuge.

He was moved by Oprah Winfrey’s talk show on how writing can be therapeutic, and so he started to write. At 22, he used his life savings to produce his first play which was a flop. Eventually he got investors, and soon his career kicked off.

Perry says,

“My biggest success is getting over the things that have tried to destroy and take me out of this life. Those are my biggest successes. It has nothing to do with work..”

Happy 2017 & May God bless you with Prosperity, Good Health, and a fulfilled New Year!

For those of my readers who would like to plan for 2017, send me a comment in the comment section.

I would be more than happy to send you a goals’ planner and calendar so you could join our Families411 Dreamers’ Group. For 2017, Families411 will be starting a group for those who want to plan and set goals for 2017. We will also be having accountability meetings to help you get closer to your goals.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas”

12-days

 

National Retail Federation is projecting that Americans will spend about $655.8 billion just on Christmas. American consumers plan to spend an average $935.58 during the holiday shopping season this year. Christmas has become commercialized, and it is no longer about celebrating the birth of Lord, Jesus Christ. But here is one song that can help us focus on Jesus as we rush from stores to stores, cleaning and decorating, cooking and baking, wrapping gifts, traveling and visiting families and friends.

Roman Catholics in England could not practice their faith openly, and it is said during that period someone wrote “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, as a catechism song for young Catholics. The song has double meaning for their is a hidden meaning for Catholics. So each gift represents a religious symbol which makes it easier for the kids to remember.

Today, let us use this song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, to keep Christ in Christmas.

The “True Love” in this Carol is Jesus Christ, because truly Love was born on Christmas Day. The partridge in the pear tree represents Jesus for that bird will sacrifice its life if necessary to protect its young by feigning injury to draw away predators.

The two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. The Holy Bible is divided into two sections, the Old and New Testaments.

The three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love.

The four calling birds were the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Gospels proclaim the good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The five golden rings represented the first five books of the Old Testament, which describe man’s fall into sin and the great love of God in sending a Savior.

The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch:  1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit—–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

(Romans 12:6-8;)

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit—–

The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control.  (Galatians 5:22)

The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments. You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God’s name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Apostles.

The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) his brother Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James son of Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas son of James. (Luke 6:14-16).

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles’ Creed.

The Twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Merry Christmas to all God’s children everywhere. Enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas!

3 Easy Ways to Empower This Generation Culturally

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Author’s Grandson and his two Buddies: America’s Melting Pot.

In 2006, President George W. Bush’s administration organized the Task Force on new Americans, and according to their report, “The cultural sphere—traditions, religion—is up to the individual,”Government policies, it said, should concern “not cultural but political assimilation. ”  which they defined as “embracing the principles of American democracy, identifying with U.S. history, and communicating in English.” In this article we will talk about three easy ways to empower this generation culturally.

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When immigrants move to America, which is a huge melting pot of people from all over the world, it is important to embrace the culture of this country. However, we have to maintain some of our own culture so we can have a sense of personal identity. If we can find the balance, diversity and integration can go hand in hand. A new analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that the nation’s immigrant population in 2015 hits record 42.1 million.

Each new generation ties to the old culture goes by the wayside, as they try so hard to fit into the American Culture. For the new generation might dismiss, and sometimes even reject their own culture, instead of embracing and honoring them. They may eat only American foods, pick up and embrace only American traditions.

Our children might go on to marry someone from a different nationality or faith or region. According to the Pew Center Research, about 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity. As they start their new families, they move further away from their parents’ culture as they might embrace their spouses’ and in-laws culture.

Then there can be clashes between the old folks and the younger ones, as we see in the movie “Daughters of the Dust”.  This movie is trying to keep old traditions when there is a generational gap in culture. We need to look for ways to keep some traditions alive, and pass them onto our children and grandchildren. Older generations can pass on their culture by their religion, traditional food, music and songs.

Three Easy Ways To Empower This Generation Culturally

  1. Use Prayers and religion.

    Religious traditions can help you understand your culture, and it also a way for parents to pass on their values, customary practices and teachings to the next generation. Religion plays an important role as it serves as an anchor for many immigrants as they struggle to fit into America. Most immigrant seek to continue or renew their religious faith as soon as they arrive in the USA for everything is new and strange to them,

    The only familiar thing to them is their religion as it provides continuity of their old lifestyle. Immigrants must continue Religious rituals whether it is weekly mass or services attendance, lighting candles, reciting daily prayers or burning incense in front of an altar at home. As these acts help the newly arrived immigrants connect their old world with the new world. Houses of worship help many immigrants maintain their core traditions and historical identities.

    Read the Bible or religious books aloud during meals and explain the teachings to the younger ones. Befriend other families in your place of worship so that your kids would have friends who share your religious values. Immerse your children into the many activities that your church or temple may have so that they could experience your traditional foods, songs, dances and culture.

    Religion is part of the human make-up. It’s also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy.

    Christopher Hitchens

  2. Pass on Traditional Dishes.

As an immigrant, I hope to pass on some of  my own traditions so that our family would always have some knowledge of our culture, and where we came from. We are from Guyana, South America, a land of many races. But, on Christmas day enter any home in Guyana, and you will see the same food on every breakfast table, Pepper-Pot.

This national dish has been adapted by every Guyanese whether East Indian, Portuguese, or Black or Mixed or Native Indian. Every Guyanese child wakes up on Christmas morning to the smell of home-made bread and Pepper-Pot on the stove. Many Guyanese who now live all over the world have incorporated this traditional meal as a Christmas dish.

Pepper-Pot’ origin was from the Native Indian who were hunters and they made this dish as a means to preserve their meats since they did not have refrigeration. Amerindians would hunt a cow or a pig or poultry, and threw the animals into a big pot along with Casareep(a vegetable root) which preserved the meat. They would boil it all day and add spices to flavor the pot. This food would last several days.

We kept this tradition every Christmas Morning in our home in the U.S, along with many other Guyanese living in the USA. This year, our oldest daughter will be making Pepper-Pot for the first time in her home, which she will be sharing with her husband, their two young ones and her in-laws.

Hopefully, this unique Christmas tradition will be passed on to all three of our daughters, and hopefully to their kids too. Then, Pepper-Pot can help preserve our identity as Guyanese throughout future generations to come. It would remind our young ones about their past: ties to their roots, as they become stronger and prouder Americans.

The role of culture is that it’s the form through which we as a society reflect on who we are, where we’ve been, where we hope to be.     

Wendell Pierce

3. Use Music and Songs to teach them about their culture.

The Irish people suffered great hardship over the centuries, through wars, invasions, oppression, famine, plague, and emigration, but their love of music was what kept their spirits alive. Music has always been an important part of their lives since the ancient days of the Celts. The Celts used Religion, legend and history to pass on their culture from one generation to the next through stories and songs.

Songs and ballads were the voice of the Irish Struggle and fight for freedom into their cities, towns and homes and even new countries. During the great famine of the 1840’s, millions died, and many Irish immigrated to the USA. These Irish-Americans have passed on their traditions through songs and music to their children. For they know:

When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.     

Yo-Yo Ma

Traditions and religion is up to the individual and yes ,we immigrants are proud to become Americans. We joyfully embrace the principles of American democracy, identify with U.S. history, and communicate in English. But, we also owe it to the next generation to promote their uniqueness by three easy ways to empower them culturally. That is by sharing our religious values, passing on a traditional dish, and telling them our history through music and songs.

Let us know in our comments how you are passing on your culture to the next generation.

 

 

 

Who is Happy? The Crow and the Peacock.

Who is Happy? The Crow and the Peacock.

Image result for crow and peacock story moral

A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life. But one day he saw a swan. “This swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.”

He expressed his thoughts to the swan. “Actually,” the swan replied, “I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation.” The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, “I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors.”

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him. After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. “Dear peacock,” the crow said, “you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet.”

The peacock replied, “I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere.”

That’s our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don’t value what God has given us.  This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness.  Learn to be happy in what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have.   There will always be someone who will have more or less than you have.  Person who is satisfied with what he/she has, is the happiest person in the world.

 

In today’s world where most people live their lives on Social Media portraying exotic vacations, eating the most scrumptious food and always looking picture perfect, how can we be satisfied with our own lives? Lives, where there is everyday struggles, where there is the good and the bad, where there is darkness at times and then light. How can we not compare our lives to other?

First, we have to be thankful everyday for our lives for so many people will not wake up today.

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have clean running water, 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world’s population. (WHO/UNICEF)

If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.

If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.

Author:Unknown

 

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’ – William Arthur Ward

So, today start your day by saying thank you God for being alive, and when you start to compare your lives to others, think about all that you have to be grateful for. Try to spend today not complaining once about what you don’t have, or what you are unhappy abou,t or what you are angry about. Everytime a dissatisfied thought, or an angry feeling, or an unhappy picture pops into your head, say thank you to God for your many blessings. Stop comparing your lives to others, and be contented.

AUTHOR:ROSSANA S MOHAMMED.

The Beat Beneath My Feet

AUTHOR:ROSSANA S MOHAMMED.

The tale of a teenage loner (Nicholas Galitzine) who found out that his unruly neighbor (Luke Perry) is really a disgraced rock god who “died” eight years ago, and owned a fortune in unpaid taxes. Nick agrees not to disclose the musician’s secret if he teaches him how to become a Rock Legend.

Most of us will not have a Rock God to teach us how to become a legend, but below are 5 tips that could become the Beat Beneath My Feet and Your Feet, and can catapult us to Stardom or Happiness.

1. What is your reason to get up in the morning?

Viktor Frankl, a Psychiatrist and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning.” He was in a concentration camp…and he said when people lost their reason to get up in the morning, they were dead within 24 hours.

Our twenty-one month old grandson wakes up every  morning excited, and is ready to face the world with passion. He can’t wait to jump out of bed to see his same old toys and to charge around his home as if he is seeing it for the very first time. If only  adults could greet each new day with his energy and motivation.

greet-each-day
Grandson, Logan Worthington, enjoying the day!

But most of us get up in the morning just because we have to, and, thus, waking up is a chore. However, if we have a great reason as to why we get up in the morning, and it is more than just about a daily routine of work or school, eat and sleep, then that passion will make us see each day as an opportunity to make an impact on the world. So, seek what is your purpose in life and once you have a reason to wake up in the morning, you will greet each day with zest and eager expectations.

2. What are your goals and Do you know what it takes to get to your goals?

Many of us have many ideas floating around inside our heads of what we want in life, but have no goals and if we do, have no idea how to get there. What do you hope to achieve in next year, the next five years and the next ten years. First, you have to write down your goals and then plan how you are going to achieve those goals. When you write down your goals, it has a powerful effect of making them permanent and real.

What can you do daily to invest in your goals. Writing down your goals is the first step, but you need a plan on how to achieve them. Then you go out and execute your plan everyday by taking a couple of actions to get you closer to them. Then pursue every possible opportunity to obtain your goals

“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.”

– Mark Victor Hansen, author, TV personality and co-founder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

3. Are you a first class version of yourself?

You have to become the best version of yourself in whatever career or field that you are in. Don’t leave anything to chance or luck, if everyday, you do something to further your career or your business, you will become more skilled and more successful. Identify one thing that you should learn that could change your life, work or school for the better. And, go out and learn it.

PHOTO COURTESY:https://www.usab.com

Jordan didn’t make varsity when he first tried out for his high school basketball team. However, he became first class by practicing more than everyone else. Michael is the number one basketball player of all times, He became a first class version of himself and earned 5 Most Valuable Player Awards(MVP) and 6 NBA championships.

This is what he said,

“Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I’d close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it… that usually got me going again.”

Michael used his failure to serve as a growth to success, instead of giving up or moping around, his failure made him become a first class version of himself. Until the end of his career,  he was the first person to get to the gym and the last one to leave during his career. Jordan did not leave anything to chance, but worked the hardest to become the best basketball player of all times. What do you need to do to become the best version of yourself?

4. Do you give more than you take?

Our relationships are the most important aspect of our lives, and can you imagine what a beautiful world this would be if we all give more than we take. But most of us take more than we give. Our spouses, our children, our parents, our families and friends matter the most to us and so we should give them our best, but do we?

We have a good friend, MJ, and she gives, gives, gives. She gives to her family, her friends, her church, her community, her students, her neighbors. MJ has tons of energy and is always giving more than she takes. Everybody that she meets, she touches their lives in some small way by giving them a word of encouragement or a smile or a prayer, a ride or something else. And she always does it with a smile.

“When you start giving, instead of getting, you make a difference. You can always give a warm smile, a sincere hello, a positive vibe… your attention, your time, your love, and kindness to those around you.”
Roy T. Bennett

MJ has figured out that Happiness is associated with giving more than taking. Whether it is simply listening to a friend, giving a hand to a lonely or sick neighbor, or volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. When we  serve and give to others, it fulfils us. We have to give more than we receive. I am not saying to become a doormat in any relationship, or to give until you become resentful. But giving is far more fulfilling than giving.

Today, evaluate your relationships and let us try to give more than we receive. Give more to our spouses, our children, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers and even the strangers that we meet today. It could be forgiveness, a smile, a compliment, a word of encouragement, a prayer, lunch money or a ride.

5. Do You Pay It Forward?

The next time somebody does something good or kind for you, pay it forward by doing a good or kind deed for somebody else. Also, ask that person to pay it forward. Look at it as if that person lend it to you and you have to pay it forward to somebody else. Let us spend each day paying it forward to the next person we meet some act of kindness or charity or good deed.

Pay It Forward was described by Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Benjamin Webb dated April 25, 1784:

I do not pretend to give such a deed; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.

Somebody smiled at you, repay it by smiling and acknowledging the next person that you see. You got a compliment on your outfit, call out to that surly co-worker of yours and compliment them on their bright outfit. Your car broke down and your kind neighbor gave you a ride to work, give the single mother a ride to the train station. Look out throughout the day to pay it forward any good thing or act that somebody did for you today.

Let us know who or what is the “Beat beneath your feet.”

 

The Wrecking Crew!

 

SOCIAL MEDIA SHOULD IMPROVE YOUR LIFE, NOT BECOME YOUR LIFE! RITU GHATOUREY

THE WRECKING CREW is a documentary film produced and directed by Denny Tedesco, as a tribute to his father, late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco. The movie tells us about the unsung musicians that provided the beat, the rhythm and the tempo that gave us many number one hits in the 1960’s. From Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds or The Beach Boys, these musicians became a musical force around the world.

Many of us have our very own Wrecking Crew, and they do not make us Rock Stars or give us number one hits. However, ours give us addictions, depression, unhealthy eating habits, disrupt our lives, and cause many problems in our marriages and families. The World’s favorite Wrecking Crew is Social Media. Around the world, billions  use social media every day, and it’s estimated that by 2018, 2.44 billion people will be using social networks.

Social Media has revolutionize traditional communication and with a few keystrokes we can reach anyone at anytime around the world, and it is free. It is a much more faster way to reach our loved ones worldwide. We can access information, research and news at the click of a button. Non-profits  use social media for their awareness campaigns, and it is an effective way of getting support, and they can easily reached hundreds of thousands of people and these sites can become central to raise funds quickly for a disaster.

So these networking sites should be a great Wrecking Crew Band for our lives, however Social Media has been wrecking many lives and relationships. Our love affair with Face-Book, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and all the other sites and apps can easily lead to unhappiness, addiction, or it leads to risky or unhealthy behaviors, and also infidelity and even divorce.

Social Media is addictive.

When we spend so much time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapshot and WhatsApp, it disrupts other parts of our daily lives, and has become an addiction. Studies show that 63% of Americans log on to Facebook daily, and 40% log on multiple times each day. Everyone is on Facebook and other Social Media, and we’re posting pictures, sharing feeds and content 24/7. We all have a fear of missing out(fomo) so we constantly have to check our phones to see who is doing what or how many likes we’ve got on out latest post.

Social Media can make us unhappy.

A study from the University of Michigan  found that the more we use Social Media, the more unhappy we were, and had lower satisfaction in our lives’ overall. That is because we seek our self-worth from others’ affirmations, instead of our own selves. The click of a button decides whether  we are happy or not. Many of us post the most exotic vacations and fancy dinners and the perfect pictures and make our lives look so fabulous. Instead of focusing on what really our lives are about, we live in a make-believe world on social media.

We compare our lives to others on Social Media, and as President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Many of us feel bad that our own lives are not as exciting or perfect as so many try to portray on their Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.  The amount of likes that we receive, intensify our depression. Many of us use social media to get attention from our friends and yes, even people we don’t know. When we do not get as many likes as others, we could feel less popular and less appealing to the rest of the world.

But just as quickly as I might scroll through Instagram and see 100 people liked a photo of me, and that makes me feel good, the next moment I might see all of my friends hanging out the night before and wonder why I wasn’t invited and feel extremely lonely about that. Now more than ever there are some major highs and really depressing lows, and they come so close together. So you begin to feel numb to genuine emotion…

Kim Stolz, stated in a June 24, 2014 TIME titled “Kim Stolz: How Social Media Is Ruining Our Relationships”:

Social Media can lead to Unhealthy Eating And Eating Disorder.

According to NEDA, about 30 million Americans suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point of their lives. Social Media can trigger and influence the progression of an eating disorder. Being exposed frequently to certain images can be damaging for those who are more vulnerable to developing an eating disorder. Hospitalizations for eating disorders are on the rise. Social networks feature photos and other images that glorify thinness. A study done by the University of Haifa in 2011 showed that the more time teenage girls spent on Facebook, they developed a higher risk of negative body images and eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and exaggerated dieting.

Social Media leads to infidelity.

It is so easy to hook up with a past love or a crush on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp that can lead to infidelity. Though many start out innocently, these communication can quickly lead to an affair. Although in fairness to Social Media, there must be something lacking in their own relationships that cause these people to seek out a romantic relationship with someone other than their partners. Social Media is just another tool to quickly break rules in your relationships.

A Boston University study showed that  Facebook plays a significant role in divorce and spousal troubles in the United States’. Heavy social media are 32% more likely to leave their spouse. A doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism found that active Twitter users  experience Twitter-related conflicts with their romantic partners. According to the London Times, Gian Ettore Gassani president of the Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, said ‘forty per cent of adulterous divorce cases in Italy cite WhatsApp messages as evidence of unfaithfulness.

Social Media cuts into our time

As soon as we wake up , we are on our phones or tablets and laptops and we easily get lost in endless feeds and updates about others’ fake lives. Before we know it we have easily wasted a couples hours of our time doing nothing.  A study taken by Ohio State University showed that college students who use Facebook spend less time studying and have lower grades than students who don’t use it. Parents are missing out on spending quality time with their children as they are so busy trying to capture the perfect picture.

Let us use Social Media to be the Wrecking Crew Band  to improve the tempo, rhythm and harmony in our lives. Not as a Wrecking Crew to destroy our families, our marriages, our lives and our communities. The only way we can do so is by not having it control our lives. We have  to be as G. Hannelius said :

With the Internet and social media being a huge part of today’s culture, I think it’s super important to promote staying smart online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Tips To Make Work a Happy Gig.

AUTHOR: ROSSANA S MOHAMMED

12 of the Best Gratitude Quotes + Picture Quotes:
PHOTOCOURTESY:DAMYLIFE.COM

Gallup poll shows, nearly 90% of the world’s workers view
work as a source of frustration more than one of fulfillment. Most of us are not connected to our workplaces,  and are less productive. But we all work mostly so we could pay our bills, and  we spend about 40 hours or more a week at our jobs. According to a research by Oregon State University, working past age 65 may extend your life, whereas retiring early could mean an earlier death. So, since working may keep us alive for a longer time, here are three tips to being happy at work.

1. Have a positive attitude at work.

“Making the choice to have a positive attitude everyday is the cure of all cures #ifyourhappyandyouknowclapyourhands #humblebragish,”

Katy Perry once tweeted.  Perry, is an American singer and songwriter, and her estimated net worth as of 2016 is $125 million. Perry knows about positive attitude, just look at her bank account.

Keep smiling to stay positive.

Smile at your co-workers, your customers and even when you are alone. Smiling puts you in a more positive mood, and the people around you will see you as a friendly person, and they will want to be around you. For a positive attitude is contagious. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, known as the feel good hormones. So even if you are having a difficult day, keep smiling. You don’t have to be fake, but you will feel better.

Being Positive helps  you to Seek Solutions.

Employees who have a positive attitude are more motivated to overcome obstacles thay they may face during their work day. They look for ways to fix the problems, and try to resolve them. Whereas negative employees will only see the challenges and lament about them, but they will never offer any solutions. Also remind yourself the good  your company does for its’ customers, or society. Then pat yourself on the back for your contribution to this great organization.

2. Have an attitude of gratitude

Many research shows that people who have an attitude of gratitude are more energetic, happier and more resilient. Robert Emmons, PhD, professor of psychology, University of California, Davis, and Michael E. McCullough, PhD, professor of psychology, University of Miami found gratitude  improves not only our  health and happiness; but also improves our personal and social lives. Oprah, the queen of TV and  gratitude said.

I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.

More than sixteen years ago, Oprah started a gratitude journal and, every day, wrote down five things she was grateful for. From fresh flowers to the kindness of a stranger, Oprah says if you focus on what you have, you will have more, but if you focus on what you don’t have, you will never have enough. So, get a journal, whether it is simple notebook or a fancy notebook or a journal online, and everyday, write down five things that you are grateful for.

Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, actress, producer, and philantropist, and as of 2014, Winfrey has a net worth in excess of 2.9 billion dollars. One of the world’s richest woman takes time out to be grateful, what about you?

Gratitude increases our productivity.

Gratitude increases our self-esteem and reduces our insecurity and helps us to be more productive at work. We are more focused at work, and are not distracted by worries or use our energy to dispense negative emotions. Gratitude makes us more effective and better at decision making. Expressing thanks to our co-workers also creates empathy and trust in our workplace, and builds a sense of purpose and team work.

3. Have a sense of humor

When things are really bad, they only thing you can do is to-
Laugh.

Jim Carrey, is a Canadian actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter, and producer.
His net worth in 2014: $150 million

Employees who use humor at work are happier and less stressed, have better coping mechanism and are more productive. Use humor to diffuse a tense situation or to make light of it, and to see the world from a different perspective.  So, keep telling those funny jokes or sharing those hilarious youtube videos, as it not only boost morale, but also makes us more likable.

Laughter releases endorphins which makes us feel happy and reduces stress and anxiety; it helps the lungs, heart and brain. This boost our immune system and helps to fight off illnesses, and so we stay home less from work. Off-color jokes or stereotypical jokes or self-deprecating jokes should never be used and will not be tolerated, so stay away from those. Humor when used appropriately and with moderation can make our workplace a fun environment.

Let us know in our comments section, how you are staying happy at work.

 

A Reason, Season or Lifetime.

Image result for pictures about a reason, season or lifetime
PHOTO COURTESY:www..spiritandthecity.com

People come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.!

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

We all have reasons, seasons or lifetimes in our life right now.  The Key is making these Reasons a Lifetime!!!

UNKNOWN.

When relationships end, whether is a marriage or a friendship, we are broken up by the loss, and when we are hurting, we cannot see the reason. However, loss is a necessary part of our growth as humans, and we can use this to grow and learn, and become stronger. When a relationship ends, we are so hurt or betrayed that we tend  to focus only on the bad and our hurt feelings.

However we should try to see what was good about the relationship, and acknowledge if we played a part in the break-up. If we didn’t, that is their loss. Try not to hold any grudge or resentment, or, stop trying to make new friends. See it as a chapter in our journey of life, and try to make the next chapter even better and more beautiful when you make new relationships.

Some people come into our lives to teach us a lesson, or to support us, or to bring us joy or happiness, or to uplift us and put a smile on our faces every time we see them, or to empower us to try things we probably would have never done. Even the ones who have treated us badly, we can learn from them so that we don’t go into the same kind of relationships again. Then once that need has been met, the friendship ends for some reason or season. It has served its’ purpose, and now it is time to move on.

Then, we have the Lifetime relationships whether it be our spouses, parents, siblings, children. These relationships help us to grow even more, as they teach us how to love unconditionally. Here we learn how to love, to forgive, to be generous, and all the many virtues that we need  to put our loved ones first in our lives, and to look out for their best interest. A friend or a spouse or a family member will meet different needs in us, but no-one can meet all of our needs, only God can!

However, families and friends are here to help us in this beautiful journey of life. So, people come into our lives for a reason, or a season, or a lifetime. Try to learn something from each relationship, grow from it, and cherish each one for what it is. And try to be one of those people that “Flavia Weedn is talking about:

“Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same.”

AUTHOR:ROSSANA S MOHAMMED.

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