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 The thoughts below are designed to encourage and uplift you.  They were written to remind you that you ALREADY have everything you need within you to live your life with purpose and clarity and that your ability to shine is not dependent upon or changed by circumstances or people.  Happiness is free!!

Fall Foliage in Somerville

Moving Forward
Moving forward doesn’t mean the painful events from your past disappear, it means you are successfully journeying IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION of the seeds which have been planted (by you or others) which were designed to limit you, deter you or take you out!

In order to proclaim that ‘today’ will be better than ‘yesterday’, you’ve got to make up in your mind that YOU will be, also.  It does absolutely no good to live your life one way and expect results that contradict what you are saying, doing and believing.

Why would you scheme, manipulate and be vindictive and in the very next breath pray against the fiery darts of the enemy?  Does it make sense to be unforgiving Monday through Saturday and pray to receive mercy on Sunday?  There is something fundamentally incongruent there.  Yet, we do this all the time.  We have one set of expectations that govern what we will/will not accept from others and a completely different (and contradictory) set of expectations that govern what we do.  If that makes sense to you, then by all means, continue with that duality and I challenge you to check back in with yourself in a year and see how much progress you’ve made. The way I see it, we’ve got ONE life…how much sense does it really make to live it TWO (or more) ways? 

I’m pretty certain that’s not what you want.  Even in the darkest of your darkest hours, you still have the ability to EXPECT better days, to DESIRE harmony and to SEE your life’s promises fulfilled.

There is great importance and value in alignment, but it doesn’t happen automatically.  YOU’VE got to seek it if you truly want it.  YOU’VE got to make some changes to have it.  Without some action on your part, it will always be something that escapes you.  I let go of something that was very dear to me a couple of years ago and in the process, chose to end my involvement with a group of women.  At that time, it was very painful but it was just as necessary.  I don’t like discord and learned through that experience just how committed I am to maintaining peace in my life.  Peace/harmony are my oxygen.  I refuse to be suffocated with strife, turmoil, insecurity and selfishness…especially when they don’t belong to me.  I’ve been given a great life and I’m going to live it. The people who God (not me) has assigned to be there…will.  It’s just that simple! 

 My God says that he has plans for me!  That He plans to show up and keep His promise to take care of me!  That I will find Him every time I look for Him!  He says that He knows what He is doing and He has it all planned out!  Guess what?  I BELIEVE IT!

If you’re moving forward, there is no need to continue to carry yesterday’s pain.  What is it about that pain that you absolutely need today?  Stop carrying “what Thelma did” like a rabbit’s foot.  Snatch off the name tag that says “how Evelyn hurt you”.  Yes, those things happened and the pain from them is real, but what’s more real is the JOY and genuine happiness you can experience when you leave past things in the past.  Some weights strengthen you, but some ONLY weight you down, delay your arrival and most tragically, cancel your trip altogether.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some places to go and I fully expect to get there!

Decide now what your next move is going to be.  Once you do, accept full responsibility for it.  The blame game ends today.  The pity party ends today.  The bright future that is eagerly waiting to show itself and prove some things to you…begins now.



Life On Delay...Or On Purpose?
Is there something in your life you want very badly? The realization of a dream, a new home, a different job, a short-term goal, more peace, respect from others? If so, it's very likely that you are doing things on a consistent basis to see your dreams materialize...if you aren't, you definitely should be.

For me, it's writing and sharing with as many people I can with the sole purpose of helping them see life from a winning perspective. I desire to add tangibility to the notion of joyful/authentic living because in my own life, I've been blessed to connect with a joy, enthusiasm and an energy that I really can't explain, I just know it's a part of me. I really DO feel happy and enthused about 99% of the time. When I am down or feel despair, anger or sorrow I'm like a fish out of water -- it's very unnatural.

During those times, I find myself working frantically to connect with that joy again...and I usually get there pretty quickly. Sometimes, I "get there" with fewer friends, a change to my inner circle or a different resolve, but I do whatever it takes to maintain the peace I need in my life. "People" aren't obligated to know your worth or value your contributions...it is; however, a requirement you should have of yourself.

As you progress from day to day, accept the fact that trials, detours and challenges are inevitable. Sometimes you see them coming and sometimes you don't. No one has a personal weatherman to tell us when the sun will shine, when people will disappoint us or when there will be icy conditions in our relationships. You can call Cleo for your "free reading", but uh...

DO NOT allow "conditions" to cause a delay in your life or shut you down. A condition is defined as 'a state at a particular time'. That means that by sheer design, conditions are temporary. Did you hear me? CONDITIONS ARE TEMPORARY!!

No matter how great, giving, sincere, talented, gorgeous, popular or rich you are, you WILL be tested, you WILL face challenges! But if you carry with you a belief that these tests (or life conditions) are temporary, then DESPITE THEM, you should be able to see yourself on the other side...just as victorious as ever, shining like the noonday sun; stronger, wiser and overall better!

Earlier this week, I told you to PRESS IN AND PRESS ON! Keep pressing! Bury your chin into your chest and face the rough winds head-on. If you don't press, there will be no forward progress and without forward progress, you will not make it through to the other side.

Are you living your life on delay or on purpose?


Tick Tock!
What would happen IF you made the decision RIGHT NOW to free yourself from others' opinions of you? What would happen IF you made the decision RIGHT NOW to live every second as if it were your last? Would you smile more? Would you dance harder? Would you even care who's watching and criticizing? (Probably not). We've got to be aware of how much we focus on other people and how that in itself causes us to be distracted and jump off the track that leads to our destiny.

UBU is asking, "When do you recall 'time' waiting for you?", "When did the clock stop ticking just so you could catch up?". Unlike childhood games, you don't get a "do-over" just because you call it. You don't get to ride in the front seat just because you yell, "shotgun". You get to ride in the front seat because you PUT yourself there!

You get there because somewhere in your mind you believe you are better than any negative opinion others have of you....and you act it out.

Your current actions and behavior bring your future into sharp focus so stop wasting time! If the clock is ticking anyway (and it waits for NO man)...make every second, minute and hour count. Make choices NOW that will benefit you later. Sure, mistakes will be and have been made, but there's no better time than RIGHT NOW to correct them and purpose in your mind an alternate course.

It all starts with a made-up mind!! So, what decision will you make today (scratch that...RIGHT NOW) that will set some new things in motion for you? 

TICK-TOCK, tick-tock...tick...tock.....tick.............tock


Joy In The Now!
Live your life to its fullest RIGHT NOW!! Even when we say what we're going to do "today", depending on when you make that declaration, that still could encompass 12 or more hours. Why put off your happiness? Why put off being joyful? Why give away your "now" for a time period that isn't guaranteed? As I hurredly washed my face this morning, the thought came..."what if you only had today?". As I pondered it, I noticed that I slowed down my movements, I actually heard the water, I felt the bumps and other imperfections and guess what? They didn't matter! All because of that quick change in my perspective. I was forced to treasure that moment...that "now".

And so this is what I'd like to share with you today. You are valuable NOW! You are STRONG, gifted and beautiful NOW! You are certainly blessed...NOW! Circumstances can't change that....People can't alter it. But in an instant, YOU can make it not so. It all comes down to your very own perspective. Even in the midst of a storm, the sun still shines...right?

Have an amazingly blessed day! Look for the joy in your 'now moments', treasure them and allow them to catapult you to the next!


While They're Getting Good Sleep...What Are YOU Doing? 
While they’re getting good sleep does your home need repair?
Is your door of love broken and in need of some care?
Is your table of forgiveness leaning hard to one side
while your filters are clogged with the dust mites of pride?

While that person is off and getting good sleep
assess your life and find good company to keep.
Do your friends mirror your values or share similar views?
Do they know what it means to walk a mile in your shoes?
Do they pray and support you, lift you up when you’re down?
Or run the other way and wait for you to come ‘round?
Do you find the road ending when you are in need;
or do they build the bridge and help you to succeed?

However you answer, only one thing is true;
You must let God’s love be the thing that guides you.
For it’s really not about who did what and who’s who
it’s about how that love shines and is demonstrated through you.

Be the beacon of great light that you were created to be;
Don’t do it for man, do it so God gets the glory.
In the end, it matters most that you lived and lived right;
So let them win the argument, it was never really your fight!

You’ve got so many things for which to be grateful
instead of wasting your inheritance on being mean and hateful
Who cares what they did and who they did it to
Do you really believe the only person they hurt is you?
It’s a cycle, you see…so don’t get caught up in it
Some call life a game; if that’s the case…WIN IT!

While they’re getting good sleep, don’t you think you should too?
And focus on how good the Lord has been to you?
Show ‘em what it means to be a true queen
Let joy lead the way when you enter the scene.

Let cheerfulness guide and confidence succeed it;
Careful! - fine line between that and being conceited
Who cares about your clothes or the cost of your shoes
The size of your ring or the house that you choose

At the end of the day are you happy inside?
or do you recount your steps and want to go hide
‘cause you didn’t use your tongue to lift someone up
If His blessings are flowing…are they reaching your cup?


Sometimes You Have To Be Your Own Cheerleader! 
No one on earth can decide your worth. There is nothing anyone can say or do that should adversely affect how you see yourself. You just cannot allow it to happen. The minute you do, you give them authority and power they aren't qualified to have over your life or you! They may have opinions about you, have their own thoughts about what you should have, where you should live or how much success you are capable of achieving...but so what? The real question is what are you telling yourself---about yourself? What are YOU saying about what you should have and your access to life's best?

There will always be negative influences attempting to disturb your inner peace, destroy your self-esteem, create chaos and rob you of your birthright to just be happy, content and self-assured. When you identify those influences, you must make SWIFT adjustments. "I hear you Precious, but what do you do when those influences work closely with you or worse, live with you? Certain adjustments are difficult."

This is very true, but I am a firm believer that sometimes you have to be your OWN cheeleader, you have to root for yourself and have more determination to win than those voices/influences that want to see you lose. THE WHISPER OF ENCOURAGEMENT YOU GIVE TO YOURSELF CAN DROWN OUT A STADIUM-SIZED CROWD OF FOLKS TELLING YOU YOU CAN'T, YOU'RE NOT AND YOU WILL NEVER BE. Please grab hold to that, my special friends.

So, it's time to turn some things around!! Are you ready??? There's an exercise I'd like you to try so grab your imaginary pom-poms in one hand and your megaphone in the other! I'll start things off with my own bold cheer for today. Here goes...

“I am strikingly beautiful on the inside and out. My hair, my thighs, my legs and my feet are all perfect because they belong to ME! (Gimme a "P"!) I don’t need a magic wand, to be granted one wish or to snap my fingers and be anything other than the magnificent person I ALREADY am! (gimme an "R"!) I am able to genuinely appreciate the beauty, talent and success of other women because self-respect and self-love are treasures I gift to myself on a regular basis. (Gimme and "E"!) As I receive my own gifts of acceptance, love and peace, my world and experiences begin to change all around me (gimme a "C"!). As my thoughts align with and attract the good in life I am most deserving of (gimme an "I"!) my confidence is strengthened and renewed.

Yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but their opinions (especially when negative), do not control or influence my life (gimme an "O"!). Speaking of opinions, here's mine!...I am the bomb - PERIOD! (gimme a "U"!) I am HIGHLY favored! I was specifically crafted to be who I am therefore, I am crowned with glory and adorned with honor and integrity. NOTHING about me is a mistake. My value cannot be estimated or measured by anyone on this earth and I couldn't be any more valued by God than I already am. I am His crown jewel and the apple of His eye. No one's negative or destructive thoughts make anything so in my life. I am me and that's enough! (gimme an "S"!)

What does that spell?...P-R-E-C-I-O-U-S!! Goooooooooo me!!

Now go back and create your own bold cheer! Insert your own name and thoughts (or use mine as a start!) You will likely have a different cheer for different situations - that's totally fine. The main thing is that you're cheering for yourself!

I feel very strongly about this topic. You must love yourself. You must respect yourself and BELIEVE you are worthy of good things and that you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. There should be no other options you'd consider.

You are precious. You are valuable and guess what? You matter.


Anything is Possible!
Today is here and it‘s greeting you with open arms! Don’t count yourself out of the race. Whether it’s on your job, in a relationship, in school or life in general. Keep running, keep pushing, keep striving and don’t lose sight of “your magnificent self“!

I dare you to believe that you are destined for greatness! I dare you to silence those voices that desire to drag you down and distract you from reaching your goals and fulfilling your purpose!

There are no “do-overs” in life so make the most out of what you have and be mindful of what you complain about. It’s Monday -- but you lived to see it. If it were your last, would you still complain? Your kids are acting up -- but you were blessed with them and they enrich your life in many ways. Traffic is backed up -- but you have a safe vehicle to drive. Your job may not be your ideal occupation --but it allows you to pay your bills, provide for your family and put food on the table. Many are unemployed right now and would trade places with you in a second.

I dare you to have an attitude of gratitude today and everyday. I dare you to smile when you feel like crying and rejoice when others (including yourself) believe you have been defeated. Pssssst.....you ALWAYS win, by the way.

Invest in yourself by thinking positively and investing fruitfully in the life of another human being. Take the focus off of you and I promise you’ll see amazing things happen all around you!


Send Them A Postcard...But Make The Trip!
Sometimes life is hard, really hard…but it’s a whole lot harder when you don’t believe in yourself or tell yourself that you can’t, you aren’t and will never be. When you turn your back on the power of the infinite abilities that lie within you, you are immediately robbed of your destiny; a destiny that only YOU can cash in. Why? …because it’s YOURS! No one can negatively influence, redesign or alter your destiny. That is a journey for which you alone have been given a ticket. Only you have access to the itinerary, only you can plot the pit stops and layovers, only you can…make the trip.

Imagine the one place in the world you’d like to visit. Maybe it’s the culture, maybe it’s the scenery or maybe this place holds sentimental value for you. Whatever it is, you consider it the “trip of your lifetime”! You’ve been putting aside a little money each month for a few years and you finally have enough to afford the trip and a few extras. You are overwhelmed with joy as you realize you are about to actually visit the place of your dreams. Your excitement is palpable!

So, now you know where you want to go (desire) and you have your ticket (destiny). You are ready!

You walk away excited to share your good news! You call your best friend and he/she says, “I know you didn’t just spend all of that money to go there?”! You call another friend and he/she says, “What about your car repairs…are you crazy?” No one is genuinely happy for you. The first thing they do is criticize your decision and in some cases, get mad at you for not taking their advice.

You’re a little disappointed, but you are not deterred. Besides, they don’t understand your connection to this place. They have no idea of the sacrifices you’ve made for years or how strong your determination is to get there. Not skipping a single beat, you go on your excited way. “I guess I’ll just send them a postcard”, you say to yourself -- as you’re packing!

The purpose of that little side journey is to demonstrate the fact that right now there are things in your life that you will not compromise. There are things in your life for which you are willing to make a sacrifice. For some things along your current journey, you refuse to allow anyone to deter you. Despite criticism from others, there are some things right now, wherein your resolve to reach your goal remains unchanged.

If we can be this way when it comes to money or material possessions, why is it so hard to adopt this principle when it’s your happiness, self-esteem and joy that are on the line? Joy and happiness will carry you so much farther than any amount of money can. Self-esteem can take you places no airplane, boat or train can travel to.

Everything you need to win can be found WITHIN you! You are ALREADY equipped with the skills, talents and gifts you need to make a footprint in the sand, put a line through the task or make it to the end zone! It’s not rocket science and most times the tasks themselves aren’t difficult.

Your physical power is NO MATCH against your mental capacity. You must get your thoughts under control. You must start believing good things about yourself, despite circumstances. In most cases, it’s the weight of unbelief, sadness, other people’s opinions, childhood betrayals/disappointments, negativity, feelings of abandonment, low self-esteem, etc. that put you in the arena of losers, where no one wants to win…and won’t win until they make the decision to.

God has abundantly blessed you with many gifts and talents. Can he count on you to use them?

If you say “yes” to that, then I want you to also say YES to yourself! Say YES to your dreams and don’t stop pursuing them! I don’t care what people say, I don’t care how big your opponent appears or what your obstacles may appear to be. Obstacles are DESIGNED to be overcome…in the same way you are DESIGNED to overcome them!

The people who don’t believe in you can’t make the trip with you anyway. Silence NOW the voices that seek to destroy or devalue you. Silence NOW the voices that don’t believe in you. Be a leader among them. Dare to jump out. Dare to dream ---- and dare to believe in yourself.

And remember, when all else fails and the negativity persists, just send them a postcard.



A State Of Mind...A Purpose