Our parents had us so convinced we were precious that by the time I found out I was nothing, it was too late -- I knew I was something.
- Florynce R Kennedy*
As we celebrate Women's History Month and women continue to persevere to equality, I would like to take a moment to share a thought. Imagine a world where the more judgmental people and the powers that be would relax a little and allow nature to just take its course and let the other species take over for awhile. Can you imagine that?
We ALL are here on earth to run our own course in life and reach some of our goals for ourselves. Instead, we may feel that every turn on our road to success (as what we perceived success to be) leads to a dead end or a glass ceiling that seems impossible to break. Or worse, there's no one who will believe in your dreams or they try to directly or indirectly discourage your efforts every step of the way. There will be haters and nay sayers because they don't want you to succeed before they succeed or they wish to stay many steps ahead of you. This premise is both funny and sad. It's funny because whatever is destined to be yours WILL be yours. On the other hand, it's sad that insecure people feel the need to oppress, belittle and discourage any one that is considered a threat or could possibly accomplish more than the other. There's room for everyone to succeed. There isn't a monopoly of successful business owners. Anyone can achieve this thing called success.
We really should learn to run our individual race to our goals like track horses. As a horse gets to the beginning of its race, blinders/blinkers are placed on the side of his eyes, so the horse remains focused on what lies ahead. He's not worried about the horse next to him. He may even be thinking about his treat at the end of the race. As I talk about my journey with you from time to time on these blogs, know that I face my challenges and adapt to them. I have no time to worry about the doubters or if another person is moving further towards his or her own goals. I concern myself with my own accomplishments and know that challenges will be with me most of the way. I learn and then I plan again to adapt to the change and move forward. Blinders on.
This week, I am attending the second half of the National Action Network conference in NY. If you're in the area, I encourage you to attend for any session. You only have to register online. Click here.
I hope to see you there!
*Pine, Joslyn T. Book of African-American Quotations. Dover Publications, 2011
Are you a U.S. government employee? Are you worried about what to do next?
Well, I'm here to throw out a couple of ideas your way. Particularly in the Washington, DC area, small and large business owners are trying to assist federal government employees the best way that they can. For example, renown Chef José Andres decided to provide free meals between 2-5 pm at his restaurants for furloughed government employees until they go back to work. Utility groups like Verizon and Sprint are waiving penalty fees and offering flexible payment plans. Several restaurants and cafes are offering freebies from coffee to sandwiches and more discounts can be found at the following website:
There are even support groups on Facebook that exchange ideas, offer temporary work and other career opportunities. Hey, we should bring back bartering in our communities.These positive options on surviving the government shutdown is not an overall solution to the shutdown because that responsibility lies with the members of congress and the president. IJS
Another option to consider on surviving the government shutdown is to become an entrepreneur.
Did you know that one of the best type of entrepreneurs were created from insolvent or furloughed circumstances? It's true! Think of the cold war or the Harlem Renaissance era. The economy may be down, but don't allow it to take you down just because your primary source of income is furloughed or terminated. It's time to start building up a secondary source of income, just in case you don't have a back up plan to hold you over. As always, you should call your creditors, ask for a hardship accommodations, or temporarily cut off some utilities that are not essential (I'm looking at you cable and cell phone data plans), but what are you going to do for income?
Some people resort to yard sells and selling items online, but that's only good for right now or until you run out of stuff. Another option is to figure out what you are good at. I talk an excessive amount about turning your passion into a business. If that doesn't move you forward, try moving forward on things that you are good at for the time being. Think about it, every human being on this earth is multi-talent. That's right, we have more then one talent within our inner self. I'll give you an example. I'm great at cooking, styling people, organizing, sewing, hosting and singing among my other skills. And these are talents that I don't even use. They're marketable talents and if I ever had to use them to make money, I would. If I was strong enough and liked the cold, I would go back to shoveling driveways, clearing off cars and doing errands for my neighbors. Offer a service that may free up someone else's time. Like animals? Offer to care or walk a pet. Have a car? Think of using companies like Uber or Lyft. Do you want to be a substitute teacher? Check out your local school districts.
Being furloughed is just another way to explore all the many talents you have at your disposal to go out and generate some revenue.
Come on! Rain doesn't last forever, but we should still prepare for it. Stay positive and keep it moving.
To all of my fellow veterans around the world... I salute you and wish you a Happy Veterans Day.
We know it’s such a great sacrifice for anyone to make the decision to join the military for his or her country. It is a selfless act of love, courage and bravery that make this world progress for the betterment of the human race. There are service members that are visible and those members that have taken off the uniform, but there still is a sense of honor and camaraderie among those that served. As we reflect on this day of remembrance, please give an active service member or veteran a hug; a personal conversation of gratitude; a token of appreciation and/or other acknowledgement of his or her service.
I bet you didn’t know that that there are about 21 million veterans out there and that four million of those veterans have served since September 2001 according to the US Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics.[i] With that many service members, I know you can look within your family and find at least one veteran.
I would not only like to thank the Veterans, but also the veterans’ family members that supported each and every service member who may or may not have been an intermediate family member or even a family member at all. These supporters provide a great amount of support within the military community and deserve an honorable mention. In fact, if it wasn't for the children of several elementary schools in the US during my tour in Bosnia and family members who sent care packages during this time, I might have gone into a depressive state of mind overseas during the holidays. There is nothing like strangers reaching out to you in a moment of need and showing that you are thought about and cared for. AMEN!
A few special freebies are listed below for any veteran who is participating on this great holiday:
Bertucci’s – Free small cheese pizza
Boston Market – BOGO individual meal free a coupon on their website.
Creamistry – 50 percent off any single item Sunday and Monday
Famous Dave’s – Free tow meat lunch combo
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers – Veterans and active military who visit a Freddy’s restaurant Sunday get a free combo meal card good through Nov. 30.
Glory Days Grill – Free appetizer or a regular order of boneless or grilled wings
Waffle House – Use a printable coupon to get one free classic waffle through Nov. 30. The coupon's fine print does not say it’s only for veterans and active military but does need to be printed. Find the coupon at www.wafflehouse.com/veteransdaycoupon.
Red Lobster – one free appetizer or dessert
Red Robin – Red’s Tavern Double Burger with Bottomless Steak Fries
More can be found on https://militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/
One love and respect,
***Any Veteran that participates in our fundraising pop up dancehall event with Raediant Movement, LLC on Saturday, December 18 at 1pm will receive a special gift of appreciation, but you must let me know you plan on attending. ***
 Emily Rolen, “A Closer Look at Veterans in the Labor Force.” Career Outlook, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nov 2017. https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2017/article/veterans.htm
My prayers go out to all of the families that need encouragement and understanding. Whether you're coping with a loss of a loved one from the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to natural disasters of this year, you are not alone. I care about what happens to you and know that everything is going to be alright. If you worry, just tweet me. I will be too happy to hear from you.
One of my favorite things to do when I meet people in despair or in a funk is to motivate them into a positive mindset. When you feel like your problems are overwhelming you, it can lead to depression, anxiety, rage, self-doubt and more. I wouldn't want that for anyone, and who wants to live like that?!
Ask yourself, what can I do right now to change my circumstances? In some instances, people are going to do you wrong no matter how positive or caring you are towards them. Others may say they are in your corner in front of you while sabotaging you when you're not around. They really don't want you to succeed and may try to keep you from your life's journey.
We are only human, and you just can't please everyone. I'll repeat it. You just can't...please...everyone. And guess what? That's ok. We were not placed on this great Earth to do that. As long as you keep that in mind, accept it and move on to bigger and brighter things. It's just unnecessary to keep any negativity coursing through you blood and messing with your health. It's hard to get over past issues in one's life if we keep dwelling in the past. The future is not set or guaranteed to work according to you plan.
Simply put, we should focus on the present and think of other ways to balance out the malarkey. Mind you, I didn't say get rid of the malarkey because it's necessary to balance out this great universe. It's true. I tried to eliminate the waste, but it kept coming back and stinking up the place, figuratively speaking.
Lastly, life is tough. Period. But just like the weather, difficult times in life come through in seasons. We just have to determine which action will we take to get through it. Think about it, you probably had a problem a month ago or years ago. Is it still a problem or did it work itself out with a better or different outcome than you expected? It just means that the universe balanced itself back, so why worry about unknown circumstances they you have no control over. I know, It's hard to let go of control that you never had in the first place. Life is really simple to figure out. Its just our minds keep messing up the experience.
From the great lyrical words of Bobby McFerrin, "Don't worry. Be happy!"
America! Land of the Free. Home of the Brave
Free to practice any religion without persecution. Free to speak your mind. Free to be cohabitants and provide for your family without fear of separation. Well…recently president number 45 decided that illegal migrant families should be separated because they are illegally crossing the border. That hardly seems like a justifiable consequent for such an infraction. I guess he did not get the memo that America was built on native Americans, immigrants and slaves (those that were forced to come over and be stripped of any family ties to their place of origin). George Santayana said it best when he said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. #45 needs to read more history books or at least evolve into a more conscience and worldly thinker of the free world.
I am referring to the occurrences that are happening at the United States’ southern border where refugees were caught trying to illegally sneak into the country for a better way of life for their family. Some families are in detaining centers that are located in Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Additionally, more than 2,300 children are separated from their parents in this administration’s attempt to strike fear to those that were still trying to come across the border. The children were detained like criminals or like animals in a shelter. It took the public and government politics to force #45’s hand to stop the zero-tolerance policy that his administration placed in May that allowed this new form of slavery mentality of handling the offspring of the refugees. This action is one of the worse decision made from this current administration. Sadly, I am not surprised.
I would not be surprised if they were forced to find a place for the children that were separated since there was no thought into how to find their rightful parents when the media caught wind of this shameful oppressive action against human kind. The policing activities of these refugees can easily turn into a human trafficking situation. The children need to be with their parents. Enough is enough. None of these actions are justifiable by any means. This is a human civil rights issue and should not represent any part of America in 2018. I pray for protection for all in this terrible environment that is plaguing this country and intend to vote out representatives in my district that stand for such cruelty. I have no doubt that the all wrongs with be right in the near future as long as we do not get accustomed to this form of injustice against any brother or sister outside of our country. I just hope that all of mankind is really paying attention to the current state of the union. If this is what “Make America Great” means? I want no part of that.
There is nothing Brave or noble about hurting the very people who just want a better way of life like the forefathers of this country tried to established so long ago. There is no reward for separating children from his or her mommy and daddy. It is just WRONG on all levels.
Love Thy Neighbor! We are all in this together despite the divisiveness of the powers that be.
The more I hear or do not hear about the politicians inability to take any real action on gun control in America, the more I feel that the youth are more mature, passionate and thoughtful than most of the politicians in office. The youth’s energy run on the real truth and are not afraid of calling BS when confronted with the same rhetoric of these politicians. There are even politicians that feel that the youth are incapable of rallying and protesting which have since sparked wide spread protests from the youth.
The youth ARE social media, and they have the power to spark a movement.
Where is the confidence in our future? I mean the children are our future and not a phrase used because it sounds good.
On the other hand, we have the commander in chief promoting gun carrying teachers. I wish I was making this stuff up. Furthermore, it is absolutely absurd to have a teacher carry a gun in the classroom. To train as security personnel, you have to have a certain mindset to want to engage with a threat in the school and possibly pull the trigger. A teacher is not that person and should not ever have to potentially decide if they have to consider that any student is a threat to the school and possibly shoot a student in front of other students. Placing guns in the classroom is the most irresponsible and stupid thing to do to prevent….guns in the classroom/school. It is as stupid as it sounds.
Once more politicians try to keep their pockets full of NRA dollars by not sitting down and figuring out what needs to be down regarding gun control and keeping society safer as a whole. The first thing that comes out of gun rights activism is “they’re trying to take our guns”. What?! Did anybody say that? Maybe the ones that are stocking up for World War III are the ones who need to have their guns taken away because they might be mentally unstable. Those are the ones that should be watched or have questionable tendencies in owning a gun/assault rifle/weapon of mass destruction.
We cannot resolve the issue until we address the fear that keeps hiding under these fits of rage and anger. It’s about the fear of losing control. It could be the fear of losing the right to bear arms; the control of country or even the control of self-worth. It’s a lack of understanding that no ONE on this earth have absolute control. We don’t even control our breathing. That alone should tell you that you are not in control no matter how long you try to hold your breath.
History shows that mankind has been tainted by sin from many years ago and there will always be bad versus good; wrong versus right, up versus down and so on and so forth. It’s does not help to keep fueling the fire of the past and not learning from the past mistakes of history and offering no solutions to the present and future. We, the ADULTS, should sit down and learn a thing or two from the mouths of babes. The adults need to do our job and keep everyone safe. If nothing is done, than we are doomed to repeat the past, and the universe will eventually balance itself out if we do not get our acts together.
Youth Leaders are uniting the people and my thoughts and prayers are with us all.
"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
Happy Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. day of service! It is not only a holiday in the United States, but it is considered to be a day of service to your community. This man was not only a civil rights leader, but a well-rounded philosopher and philanthropist beyond his time. He sets the standard on what the world is supposed to strive for in a near perfect society. He believed in a society that should be open for opportunities for all mankind and that there was no place for racial inequality or inequality of any kind.
In the midst of opposition from government leaders, everyone should make a conscience effort to turn this world into a better place for all. Yes. We are different; speak different languages; love differently; disagree with one another; look differently and have different ideologies but that is what makes us human. We still all come from the same source. In fact, I am a firm believer that we would be more advance in technology and the likes if we could set our differences aside and develop more ways of curing diseases; eliminating hunger; sheltering the homeless and leveling the playing field in education and in the workforce, just to name a few things. It is a shame that we have plenty of great leaders who believe in these things, but it differs from what is projected to the public as a whole throughout social media. Decencies and even the truths have been replaced by controversial statements and divisive speech just for manipulating the public and for monetary gains.
Keep your eyes open and your head strong to decide what is best for you and yours, for you cannot look for mankind to lead you on the straight and narrow path to build a better world as long as greed, power and money are the determining factors for decision-makers of the world. Civil disobedience, resistance, open communication and, more importantly, solutions need to be developed every step of the way so our community does not represent the opposite direction of where we need to be. Let us hold our leaders accountable for his or her own ascent or demise.
If you want to volunteer for any cause, you can find one through guidestar.org or locally search for charities in your state or country. I know you know of one charity since you are reading this from our organization’s website. Please find a cause or more because it is about all of us reaching back and pulling up at least one other person to our level and beyond. If enough of us take a step forward towards real positive change, then no entity can take us backwards into the past.
Distractions are great for business, and it should be in your best interest to learn how to refocus with each moment of distraction. Now, I’m not saying that each distraction deserves your attention, but each one needs your acknowledgement and understanding. This is how I like to group my distractions:
It’s hard to decipher these four distractions, but the first resolution is to acknowledge them. Sounds easy, but it’s not like a distraction is right in front of you jumping up and down saying, "Look here I am! What type am I?! Quick you only have 60 seconds to tell me which type of distraction am I!"
First of all, high levels of distractions directly influence your goals. You may have to make a choice about going to an event to further your business or creating a business proposal that's due that same evening. Both opportunities can generate revenue for your business at a later time, but which one should you chose? Maybe you can delegate one of the responsibilities to your partner or employee. Which one? Decision making is necessary but spending too much time on it can spoil your chances of completing any one of them. Honestly, it does not matter which one because the decision that you make will be the right one for your business. If it is not, then you learn from where you went wrong. Who knows? If you tried it one way and a different way the next time this issue may arise, you still may walk away with the same outcome. That’s not the lesson. The lesson is this: You will run your business the way you want it and take responsibility for the outcome. You will keep growing and learning from each and every opportunity and keep moving forward in faith in you, your company, and your customers/clients.
Secondly, a misleading distraction is a minor distraction in disguise. Let's say you are an event planner and you strategically planned the perfect event to showcase your company. The day of your outdoor event, there's a snowstorm in September! Who would have seen that coming? Does your venue allow for you to cancel, reschedule or move the event inside? It happens, but the weather is out of your control. This distraction is more of a nuisance than a distraction, but your attention should be on the prize (your set goals). This distraction will not make or break you, but will force you to quickly think of a solution and redirect your plans.
Thirdly, other types of distractions are those pesky outside distractions. Even though they are minor distractions, they can affect your train of thought. A family past away; your kid's teachers are calling; your personal relationships are coming to an end; your employer constantly critiques you and seems to never be satisfied with your efforts; or maybe you are getting harassed at work/home/in public. Can you imagine how this can wreak havoc into your own personal growth? These things can leave you run down trying to deal with them individually or all at once. It's ok. Everyone goes through it. None of these things will prevent you from obtaining your goals. All you have to do is take a deep breath; clear your mind, and detach emotionally from the situation. This is something I want you to get in the habit of doing. Everything that I mentioned above is a short list of what is out of your control and can only affect you if you let it. Seriously. Family member past away? You can't bring them back. Kids, personal relationships, critical employers/employees and the likes are entities that you do not control. All you can control is how you react to them, and how you want to solve it. Emotionally detaching for just a moment will allow you to figure it all out, which you cannot do if you are stressed out about life's little fires (as my dad would put it). Grab a bucket and put each one out. Problems will come in and out all the time. As soon as you accept that, then you can start to form a real thought about how to resolve it. That's it.
And lastly, if you let the outside distractions get to you it may become a personal distraction. Personal distractions can lead up to all types of self-esteem issues. Do not be fearful or have self-doubt. Be bold and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. You were divinely created with everything that you need to accomplish what is in your heart and mind. All you have to do is place your mind where you want it to be and everything else will follow. Do not allow anxiety and stress to have its way with you. Every time you feel that your heart is racing and your mind is whirling, stop and take a deep breath while clearing your mind. You know…. your mind never really stops working while you are alive. It's constantly searching for a solution to all of life's problems. Sometimes you just have to tell it to slow down or stop. Shhhhhh! And repeat. The solution will eventually come to you. It always will.
We still have some tickets left for the Saturday Skating Party for this November 11th at 5:45. Please come out and support our foundation. We have $25 to $100 gift cards, food, fun and prizes for all ages. I hope to see you there.
Hey there! For those of you who are new to the website welcome. If this is not your first time visiting, the website looks a little bit different. Do you like the change!?
Anyways, I'm delighted to say that we are hosting a skating party in Odenton, Maryland and recently connect with the Maryland Charity Campaign for 2017.
First, the skating party. This is really a party to formerly introduce Island Oasis Foundation to the public while having a great time. I know times are hard and many things may get you down, but everything is going to be alright. We're still here right? I know. You worried about the future, well, if you are worried about the future than just deal with today. Remember the past is in the past and the future never comes. You can only deal with the present, and there's enough going on in the present to keep you busy.
Anyways, come on down to Wheels Skating Center at 1200 Odenton Road, Odenton, MD for prizes, Jamaican style hors d'oeuvres and friendly skating competition. This is happening Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 5:45 - 7:45 pm. Tickets may be purchased at Eventbrite or on this website at the "Events" page.
Lastly, if you want to donate via Maryland Charity Campaign, please select our organization for your payroll deductible contribution via http://mcc.maryland.gov/.