Woman in the Mirror

Woman in the Mirror
The Woman in the Mirror poem appears in several versions.  While each is a little different, I have to give credit to those authors who have claimed ownership, including some “unknown authors”. The poem is also very similar to the message in the late Michael Jackson’s song “Man in the Mirror” where he says:

“If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make the change”

I found this version of the Woman in the Mirror hiding out in my quotes folder and want to share it with you.

The Woman In The Mirror: Author Unknown

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you Queen for a day.

Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
and see what that woman has to say.

It isn’t your father or mother or spouse
Whose judgment upon you must pass

The person whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might think you’re a straight-shootin’ chum,
and call you a wonderful gal.

But the woman in the glass says you’re only a bum,
if you can’t look her straight in the eye.

She’s the person to please, never mind all the rest, she’s with you right up till the end.

You’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test if the gal in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
and get pats on the back as you pass.

But your final reward will be heartache and tears if you’ve cheated the woman in the glass.

Hmmm…something to think about.

The poem reminds me of how we so often place more emphasis on what others think about us than the fact that it’s more important to be able to look in the mirror and like what YOU see.

The person whose verdict counts most in your life
is the one staring back from the glass

Please share your thoughts about this poem or one of your favorites in the comment section.

And, for more information about loving the woman in the mirror, I invite you to check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

10 Dr. Maya Angelou Quotes That Teach and Inspire

Maya-AngelouNo doubt prolific American author, poet, actress and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou was a phenomenal woman – a woman of wisdom, grace, charm and talent. She died at the age of 86. Her wise counsel will be missed.

Among my collection of quotes and poems, my most prized ones are these 10 quotes by Dr. Maya Angelou that have uplifted and inspired me over the years.

 

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.’

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.””

“You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise…”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.”

“When someone shows you who they are
believe them; the first time.”

“There is no greater agony than
bearing an untold story inside you.”

“It’s the fire in my eyes and the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist, and the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”

These are just a few of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes that have uplifted and enlightened me over the years. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do

Please share some of your favorites with us.

My book, Master the Genie Within is filled with relationship and life enrichment tips, tools and resources to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, co-workers and friends.

I’m Back From My Fear Trip

Plane Landing

I’m Back From My Fear Trip!

You’re probably wondering what’s a “fear trip”?

A fear trip is one of those trips that mires you in inertia, keeps you from moving forward and creates an atmosphere of doubt and deception.  It’s like being stuck in your own personal time warp and you have the key but can’t open the lock.

A funny thing about fear – you can go along thinking you’ve conquered it and bam! It rears its ugly head when you least expect it.

I thought I was long over the fear of sharing my writing or speaking in a public forum.

So, what happened?

I won’t bore you with all the details but family, illnesses, “anything that gets-in-the-way-of-writing mishaps” and other related incidents kept me off course for months.

In reality, after such a long absence, fear stealthy moved in while I was busy doing other things.

Have you ever let that happen to you?

I’ve overcome other fears before. I put my first blog post out there in 2009, wrote numerous posts since then, published a book, and spoken to many groups. So, why have I allowed fear to keep me from writing for so long?

The truth is, the longer I stayed away, the wider the opening for fear to sneak in and give me room to create a story that I had no evidence to support.

My story was that I would write and no one would be there to read what I wrote and that you would have moved on to read someone else’s blog. That was my story and I stuck to it!

How could I possibly know that?  Can I peek over your shoulder and see what’s on your computer screen?

Remember, FEAR is “False Expectations Appearing Real” and like  most fears – mine were rooted in false expectations without any proof to support my story.

Once I got brutally honest about the real reason I neglected my blog for so long, I was able to dismiss the false “story” I created.

Fear can make a person see something that is not there, or hear something that is not said – Iyanla Vanzant

Does writing this post mean I’ve overcome the fear that no one will ever read my blog posts?

I don’t know…

I do know that one of the ways to overcome fear is to do the thing you fear.

I also know that, at this moment, I’m not fearful. I am taking a risk that you haven’t abandoned me and will let me know you read this by leaving a comment.

Just say hello, I’m still here.

Until next time …(yes, there will be a next time).

FF7763830E129CE0F0FCC3E95F18805A

Show Kindness to Yourself

Show kindness to yourselfShow kindness to yourself even when you make a mistake, decision you regret or choices and experiences have you stuck, unmotivated and angry.

We all make mistakes.

If a friend made a mistake or choice that landed her in a shaky situation, how would you respond to her?

More than likely you would be there to support, encourage and uplift her.

So, why not extend the same courtesies and show kindness to yourself when you’ve made a choice that didn’t turn out the way you expected?

When you are beating yourself up with negative self talk, stop and use the following tips to show kindness to yourself:

1. Show kindness to yourself in the same way you would a friend who might be going through a rough patch
. Speak encouraging, empowering words, or perk yourself with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Don’t fall into the “woe is me” trap of negative self talk like “I can’t…” “I’m too…” or “I’m not…”

2. Leave your mental comfort zone. When you’re feeling in a rut or unmotivated, focus on something different. If you think long enough about what isn’t possible, your thoughts will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3. Value your time. Time is a precious commodity and ought to be valued as such. Filling you time with negative self talk will add undue that stress to your life and is not a good way to spend your time. Instead, turn your attention to things that delight and inspire  you.

4. Forgive yourself. Blaming yourself for things that happened in the past will cause you to stay stuck in anger and unforgiveness. You are human and will make mistakes in judgment and engage in behaviors that you wish you hadn’t. Just as you would show kindness and forgive a friend for a minor transgression, forgive yourself.

5. Practice good self-care. When you practice good self-care, you are in a better position to ward off negativity, stress and anger. Set aside a portion of your day for “me time”.  Me time is uninterrupted time you spend meditating, relaxing to soothing music or just sitting with your feet up. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a part of your daily routine to unwind and rejuvenate.

Keep the above tips in mind whenever you start to be too hard on yourself. Remember, you are your best friend! So show kindness to yourself by displaying the same nurturing, uplifting and positive support you would offer to a friend.

And, to learn even more about how you can show kindness to yourself, I invite you to get my latest book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Check Your Judgment Meter

Check Your Judgment Gage

Check your judgment meter before it’s on empty. When your judgment meter is running dangerously low, you are more apt to create a story or make an assumption that has no basis in fact.

Good judgment is based on our ability to form an opinion objectively and with some knowledge and insight.

However, often our judgments are based on everything except objectivity, knowledge or fact.

This was certainly the case with me on a recent trip to the supermarket when I noticed a young woman on her cellphone.

That day, my judgment meter was running at dangerously low. My tolerance level had long ago reached the danger zone.

One of the things that will drain my judgment meter is seeing someone talking on a cellphone in public places.

It seems everywhere I look someone is on a cell phone. And I often judge them to be rude, inconsiderate and uncaring individuals. I have no interest in hearing the details of last night’s argument with a spouse, or idle gossip about neighbors or friends. So when I see someone on a cellphone in public, of curse, I decide right then that these individuals as “inconsiderate” and “rude”.

And, just when my judgment meter approached a dangerously low level, I overheard the woman on her cellphone say loudly, “Oh, no!… what hospital? I’ll be right there”.

Now here was something more plausible than the judgment story I had created in my head.  It appeared there was some crisis in this woman’s life.

How quick I had been to judge her – make assumptions about her phone call, her life, and her motives – without any knowledge of her whatsoever.

I wanted my deflated judgment to slink off to the nearest corner and hide my face in shame.

I began to wonder how many other times had I made a quick judgment about someone or a situation only to discover later that I was way off base? What about you?  Have you ever been quick to make a

What about you?  Have you ever been quick to make a judgement about someone without any basis in fact?

The supermarket incident gave me an unexpected pause to reconsider my objectvity and assumptions

Here’s the “aha” moment I took away from that experience:

I recognized that situations are not always as they appear at first glance.

Don’t be so quick to judge or make assumptions

My thoughts determine my reactions and responses to others.

I learned to take time to assess my own assumptions and level of acceptance.

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron

So if you find your judgment meter dipping to a low level, consider these options first:

  1. Be willing to acknowledge that you don’t know all the details. I may think it’s rude to talk on a cell phone in public but that doesn’t mean others share my reality.
  2. Accept that others have a different reality from yours. Just because something doesn’t sit well with you does not mean it’s not working for the other person.
  3. Give others the benefit of the doubt before you judge and create a “story” about them and their motives. Consider that you may lack knowledge that could make a difference in what you think.
  4. Check your own thoughts and behaviors before you judge someone else. Are you guilty of the thing that you find most annoying? Have you ever used your cell phone at a checkout line, at a concert or in another public place?
  5. Make sure you have some facts to back up your judgment. Your judgments aren’t always (hardly ever) right. A judgment is an opinion you form without any concrete evidence to support it.
  6. Explore your own beliefs and assumptions to gain greater awareness and acceptance of yourself and others. Use moments of judgment to reflect on your level of discomfort so that you are not giving others permission to push your buttons.

For more tips and insights like this, check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You

Let’s Do Something About Sandy Hook

Single CandleIn light of the tragic events that happened in Newtown, CT this post is different from what I usually write about.

Please bear with me as I try to make sense of this senseless tragedy.

On Friday December 14, 2012, the lives of twenty children and 6 adults brutally ended when a shooter armed with an assault rifle entered the Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Among those killed was a 6-year old angel, Ana – the daughter of Nelba and Jimmy Greene.

I’m sure that Friday morning started out like most other school days. Parents lovingly deposited their children on school buses or dropped them off at the front door of the school in what they considered a safe, secure environment.

But, by mid-morning, the scene was anything but idyllic.

No bright yellow school buses stood waiting.

No throng of smiling faces met these parents.

Instead, parents were met by an untold number of police cars, swat teams, ambulances, confusion and tears. And in the case of Nelba and
Jimmy Green and the other parents-

they received the unthinkable news…

their child was dead.

I’m sure it’s heartbreaking to lose a child under any circumstances but especially so when it’s a senseless act of violence.

When I did consulting work for city schools, I had to ring a buzzer and put my name on a visitor list to gain entrance to the building housing precious children.

Before the Sandy Hook massacre, I hadn’t given much thought to this “security measure”. Like most of us, I thought this was enough. However, upon reflection, I now see it wasn’t enough. I don’t recall ever being questioned about the purpose of my visit before being admitted.

Someone simply buzzed me in.

I now wonder if such a step as asking the nature of one’s visit to Sandy Hook Elementary School would have given pause to the shooter.

Of course, we have no way of knowing if that measure would have changed the course of events. But in the aftermath of such a tragic event, one can’t help but “wonder”…

Is better security needed in our schools?

Could improved security prevented the tragedy at Sandy Hook?

What about our gun control laws?

How can we ensure that no one else has access to an assault rifle using it to murder innocent children?

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, between 2006 and 2010, 47,856 people were murdered in the U.S. by firearms, more than twice as many as were killed by all other means combined.

Right now if you don’t have a criminal record and you have not been judged as mentally incompetent, you can buy guns.

Although a background check is required, each check doesn’t accurately represent a single gun purchase or the mental state of the purchaser.

For example, if one were to purchase two or three guns at one time, there would be only one background check. And, if there is no documented history of mental illness or violence, a permit is issued.

I don’t know why a person would commit such horrible acts as the ones in Newtown,CT, Aurora, Arizona, or Virginia Tech or how easy it is for guns to get into the hands of unstable people who mean to hurt or kill.

I do think the answer to this problem lies with our elected officials. This country needs to look seriously at way the licensing
and registration processes are handled for gun ownership.

Stricter licensing and registration, more vigorous background checks and definitely a ban on assault weapons would be a great start toward preventing tragedies such as the one in Newtown, CT.

My heartfelt condolences and prayers go to Nelba and Jimmy Green and to all the other families affected by this senseless tragedy.

And, as a reminder for the rest of us…

  • Take time to let your children, family, and friends know that you love them.
  • Never part company with your love ones on an angry note.
  • Make each moment memorable…every day!
  • Create lasting memories with pictures, videos and letter writing.
  • Push away petty grievances and accept your love ones (especially difficult family members) for who they are.

Doing just one of the above could make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Now is not the time to sit idly by and stay mired in “what if’s” or “why’s”. It’s time to take action. If nothing else, we must decide whether or not we are part of the problem (remaining silent on gun reform) or part of the solution (contact your elected officials).

Let’s all do something NOW!

Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things

Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things image

Greatness is ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

When you think of greatness, who comes to mind – Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, Oprah, Muhammad Ali, Bobby Fischer, Deepak Chopra?

Guess what, none of these people are any different that you or me. They didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be great. At one point, they all were everyday, ordinary people who ended up doing extraordinary things. And they followed the calling they had to bring their gifts to the world.

Greatness is not about becoming famous, powerful or rich. It’s not about having millions of dollars. It’s not about banner headlines.

It is about making a difference in someone else’s life.

It is about recognizing difficulties and moving past them.

It is about finding your purpose in life, being your best self and having a positive impact beyond yourself.

It is about the discipline of personal mastery.

And, as run of the mill and unknown as we may think we are, we’re all called to do extraordinary things. Everyday, ordinary people, just like you and me are doing extraordinary things.,

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights”. – Muhammad Ali

What do you think that quote says about greatness?

Did Ali’s greatness come from those brief hours he fought in the ring? Did he just come out of nowhere to become the Greatest Heavyweight Champion of all times and steal the hearts of millions of fans?

No, his greatness came, as he said, “far away from witnesses…” He poured himself into every moment training and preparing, even when no one was watching.

You don’t have to be Oprah, Muhammad Ali, Mother Teresa or in the spotlight to show your greatness. Greatness comes from living each moment as if it was the only moment that exists; and in actuality – it is.

Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things

For more tips and insights like this, check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You