Archive for Encouragement

Introducing Visionary Insights (and Other Happenings)…

Your Vision + Our Insights = PROGRESS

Hello SC Followers!

I know what you’ve been thinking….where have you been? I know I know…I’ve been absent but I promise its been for a good reason. Many things have transpired since my last post: I’ve moved to two different states (that was fun), I resigned from a traditional job and starting working at home…to then go back as a teacher (my first love).  I’m officially an author and recently launched my own consulting firm Visionary Insights.  Yes thats a lot…but I’ve been having fun with all the successes and failures that comes along with stepping out on my own into a new me…and I’m ready to share all these experiences and the future with each of you!

  1. Next steps (here is where you come in): visit my NEW website, read, comment and REGISTER to receive new posts by clicking here.
  2. SUBSCRIBE to me at ezinearticles.com to receive all my new article postings
  3. Follow me on Twitter @vision4progress
  4. Connect with me on LinkedIn
  5. Be looking out for an invitation to join my mailing list to learn more about my company, upcoming specials and giveaway, AND my upcoming book (to be announced soon).

AGAIN THANKS TO ALL OF YOU for supporting me and this blog over the years. Each of you are very important to me and dear to my heart, and I hope you will continue to support by subscribing to the new site and interact with me in the comment sections. I love each and every one of you and I look forward to embarking on this new journey with you!

 

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Natural Hair Update – September 2011

Hey SC Family!  Yes I’ve been gone for a minute, and I do apologize.  Forgive me…..:)  Lots going on in the orAKAle’s world and I can’t wait to share them with you.  Thanks for your patience.  Just wanted to give you guys a quick update on my hair.  Its been growing at rapid speeds and I’m so excited!

Below is a current pictures of me with stretched hair. I shampoo’d, hot oil treated, blew out (using my denman) THEN double stranded twisted the hair.  I wore the twist for about 2 weeks before taking them down.  Below are the results!  I used my hair cream to refresh an twists that were trying to get free (lol) and my flaxseed pomade daily to add shine and to do any slick ups or backs.  Take a look and tell me what you think!

this is my "long" side

back view

short side view

my pretty girl rock....

My regimen includes a homemade pomade and hair cream with Shea butter and flaxseeds as two of my staple products. To learn about the benefits of flaxseed for the hair, click here I actually make my own oil/gel from the seeds to use on my hair.  As for my hair cream, I also use this concoction over the entire body (great for when the cold months come). It feels wonderful and I’m loving ever second of naturality.  This November I will be celebrating my 4 year Napaversary and I’m so excited. Maybe I will do something exciting for the SC readers…..guess you’ll have to wait and see.

Thanks to all of you for your love and support!  The orAKAle has spoken…..


 
 

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Set Yourself up for SUCCESS!!!

I’m a firm believer that in order to achieve our goals and aspirations we must surround ourselves in an environment set up for us to succeed!  In order to assist in getting your mind right, you have to get other aspects that make up your life in order.  This week I received a QCC regarding working out/training sessions (that I’m always tweeting about) and how to be successful with these goals.  I love this question for I feel that over the year’s I’ve coined a regimen that works for me and is conducive to my work schedule. For my long time SC family…you know I love sharing some of my “tools of the trade” when it comes to health and wellness. 
 
Like most people, I work a strenuousness 8-10 hours/day weekly, travel significantly and am very involved in the community. Having all this on my plate makes it….”interesting” to find time to get my exercising in.  So how do I manage all of these….first let me clarify: I try to stay active and purposefully set weekly schedules to workout/train (either at home or in my neighborhood gym) to stay healthy overall!  This is not just for weight loss, but I have seen the power of healthy living habits and the positive results it has on all facets of life.  Those who know me via outside of this blog are aware that I take my health/overall fitness very seriously.  Due to this, getting training sessions in at least 5 days a week (min 2 days of strength training) is a very important aspect of my life. 
 
 

But back to the question – how do I stay motivated to do this DAILY and achieve my fitness goals?  I set myself up for success by laying out my gear for the day.  Not only do I leave the house with a cute scene (like the picture above) waiting for me when I return, but I also set out my attire. This way when I walk in the door after work and put all my items down/away, I see the DVD’s, weights and/or my exercise clothes calling my name.  These motivational scenes can be done the night before (if your mornings are chaotic enough) or prior to leaving the house.  Either way, you’ve already previewed your brain to what is to come later (then you can use the rest of the day battling that “devil” on your shoulder trying to convince you all the reason why not to work out after work)…achieving that daily goal and being a step further for your greatness!
 
 
So what do you all think SC family?  Any suggestions on  how to keep us ALL motivated to achieve our fitness goals?   The orAKAle has spoken….

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4 Tips That Will Turn You Into a Positive Leader

Shout out to my fabulous mother for sending this great read to me. This excerpt comes from Dr. Zimmerman’s “Tuesday Tips” (yes I am few days late), pertaining to leadership development and being effective in all that you strive to do. Dr. Z is exceptional and speaks on attitude, motivation and leadership for all individuals in multiple types of environments and or professional organizations.  Click here to visit his website.   The orAKAle has spoken….

Dr. Alan Zimmerman’s Personal Commentary:

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of research on the effects of being positive, and the research is clear. It really pays to be positive. The benefits include better health, a longer life span, greater happiness, faster career advancement, improved athletic performance, enhanced teamwork, and greater financial success. Being positive is not just A nice way to live. It’s THE way to live.

Unfortunately, for all too long, positive thinking and positive living have been considered “nice” things to do but not all that “critical” or “corporate.” They’ve been considered too “touchy-feely” for the average organization and not all that profitable.

As a result, according to Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, “Corporate America has sacrificed the health and well-being of its employee populations on the altar of profitability. Some even go so far as to say they are ‘lucky to have jobs at all’.” And Bob Nelson, the reward-and-recognition guru, says over 80% percent of today’s workers feel over-worked and under-appreciated.

But things are starting to change. The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan now offers an entire track of study on what they call “POS” or “Positive Organizational Scholarship” … because they’ve proven that positive thinking, positive living, and positive leadership really work. As Professor Kim Cameron puts it, “The results not only allow you and your people to flourish but also innovate and ultimately benefit the bottom line.”

The Ross School of Business is saying that an organization’s productivity and profitability are directly tied to the positivity of its leadership. So how can you become a positive leader … that brings out the best in others … on and off the job?

1. Start with a decision. Decide to be positive.

Positive leadership starts inside your head … with the decision to be happy.

Now that might sound pretty soft. In fact, it may seem to be a far cry from the toughness associated with traditional models of leadership. But positive leaders know that their happiness has a huge impact on everybody else in the organization.

Positive leaders know what researcher Terri Kabachnick discovered — that a huge portion or 68% of an employee’s productivity is directly related to the leader’s behavior and emotions. So positive leaders know that they had better be setting an example they want others to follow.

Professor Cameron even says, “You are perceived as more charismatic and effective when leading positively.” When you’re happy, it rubs off on others.

Of course, some of you may be thinking, “I’m just not the happy, bubbly type. So what am I supposed to do?” Glad you asked.

Author Jon Gordon makes it clear that your happiness has more to do with the decisions you make than the personality you have. Gordon writes: “Happiness is an inside job. Our happiness comes not from the work we do but from how we feel about the work we do. I’ve met bus drivers, janitors and fast-food employees who are more passionate about their jobs and happier than some professional athletes making millions of dollars.”

Gordon continues: “The way we think about work, feel about work and approach our work influences our happiness at work. We can be happier by focusing on what we GET TO do instead of what we HAVE TO do. We can realize that the ability to work is a gift, not an obligation … Each day we can come to work with the mindset that today we will be better than we were yesterday and tomorrow we will be better than we are today.”

He’s so right. But there’s more. Gordon goes on to say, “We can also enhance our happiness by tuning out negativity. Gandhi said, ‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet,’ and neither should we. Instead of listening to the negative voices let us focus on our positive choices … If we focus on the positive and tune out the negative our happiness will soar.”

Gordon concludes his essay by saying, “We can energize our jobs by working for a bigger purpose. The research shows we are most energized when we are using our strengths and talents for a bigger purpose beyond ourselves. Every job will get old and mundane (if we let it). But purpose keeps it fresh. Purpose fuels us. When we work for a bigger purpose we find an endless supply of happiness at work.”

In short, happiness is an inside job. It’s not dependent on anything other than your own decisions, and positive leaders decide to be happy. You would be wise to make the same decision.

2. Focus on taking people to a new and better place.

It’s the goal of positive leadership.

Before I delivered the keynote address at OneBeacon Insurance in Boston, I was preceded by the company’s Vice President Gary Black. He shared a story that epitomized the very essence of positive leadership.

Black talked about his third-grade daughter, Taylor, who came home from school one day rather upset. She had not been chosen as the “line leader,” a position that she really wanted. Dad tried to console her by reminding her that she had been chosen dozens of times before, to be the “line leader for lunch, for the bus, etc.

But Taylor said, “Dad, you don’t understand. This was for a field trip. I had the chance TO LEAD MY CLASSMATES TO A PLACE WHERE THEY’VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE.”

I thought, “Wow. That’s the best definition of positive leadership that I’ve ever come across.” After all, you don’t find positive leadership in a title; you find it in your passion to lead people to a new and better place.

3. Make sure your motivation comes from greatness rather than greed.

Positive leaders always do; they want to DO something great. So they’re more concerned with giving than taking. And they’re more concerned with making a difference than making their mark.

Personally, I like the way one of my clients, Jason Damkoehler, puts it. He says: “The world is looking for men and women of greatness to lead them. Companies are looking for men and women of greatness to lead them. Families are looking for men and women of greatness to lead them. Someone somewhere is counting on YOU to become a person of greatness!”

The problem is, too many people think that greatness is all about a title or a position. And they know they’ll never have the big title or the fancy office, so they don’t even try to pursue a life and a career of greatness.

If that sounds like you, Damkoehler has a word for you. He says: “You may never be president, but you can be presidential. You may never be a CEO, but you can be one who yields great influence. You may never be the most popular and you may never have the most recognizable face, but you can be a person who changes the face of the world around you.”

He’s right. If you want to be a positive leader, if you want to DO something great, let GIVING be your motivation.

By contrast, you become a negative leader when you’re out to GET something for yourself, no matter how much it costs or who it hurts. You become a negative leader when you’re driven by greed, TAKING whatever you want when you want it.

And the sad truth is … the world is filled with negative leaders. That’s why you see corporate leaders telling their employees to buy more of the company stock … when they themselves are dumping it. That’s why you see political leaders talking about family values at the same time they’re engaged in illicit affairs. And that’s why you see religious leaders preaching morality as they prey on children as objects of their sexual desire.

If you’re going to be a positive leader, make sure your motivation is coming from the right place.

4. Apply energizers to the workforce and the workplace.

After all, the status quo of “getting by” is no longer “good enough” in a world economy that is highly competitive. In today’s marketplace, we need positive leaders who engage and motivate their teammates to be their very best.

Among other things, positive leaders apply the following energizers to the workforce and the workplace.

  • They take time to connect.
  • They grab a few colleagues or gather their team and spend 30 minutes together. They talk about what’s going right, what’s needed, and how everyone is feeling. In the process of recognizing their achievements and recognizing the pressures they’re under, they connect as human beings. And good healthy sharing always puts some extra wind in their sails.
  • They add an element fun to the organization’s culture. I remember one leader who told his drivers he would give them ALL a cash bonus if they could ALL drive without any accidents until Labor Day. They did it … and the program was extended on a month by month basis because it really pulled the drivers together. You might ask yourself what you are doing to make work fun for your people.
  • They express gratitude on a regular basis.  Positive leaders look for things that are going well and make a point of expressing their gratitude for those things. They give positive feedback, send out positive notes, and keep a record of the team’s accomplishments. By doing so, positive leaders eliminate the number 1 job complaint … which is “you can do a hundred things right and not hear a darn thing about it.”
  • They exhibit contagious enthusiasm.  As the famous preacher John Wesley used to say, “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” That’s good psychology as well as good leadership because human beings are naturally drawn to positive energy. It’s called heliotropism … or the phenomenon of turning toward the “light.” Plants do it and so do people. When you’re enthusiasm shines through, you unleash smarter thinking in others, you foster their vitality, and you cultivate their extraordinary performance.

Action:  Set yourself a “mini-goal” for this week. Select one of the ideas from this week’s Tuesday Tip that you will focus on this week to become more of a positive leader.  Make every day your payoff day!

�2010 Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman. Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman’s Internet newsletter, the ‘Tuesday Tip.’ For your own personal, free subscription to the ‘Tuesday Tip’ as well as information on Dr. Zimmerman’s keynotes and seminars, go to http://www.drzimmerman.com/ <http://srv.ezinedirector.net/?n=4720985&s=83896326>  or call 800-621-7881.

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Food for the Soul: “When We Are Tested”

Family you know that the SC is not just about natural hair and fitness, but also abundant living!  In order to Live Life to the FULLEST you have to feed your soul with words of wisdom and suggestions on how to further enjoy life.  The below was written by Mr. Steven Dante Jones, reminding us that through all test GOD’s plan for you will prevail.  Stay encouraged and make sure to read, reflect and shaire.  The orAKAle has spoken……

When we are tested by the storms and trials in life, sometimes more than we can bear, it is important that we be willing to grow to a high level of faith and maturity. The same faith and maturity we had yesterday my not by enough for the situation today. To have peace during though situations in life we must be willing to mature and grow spiritually. We must be strong. We must always remember that our life and our situation is in God’s hands, not our hands. We must always remember the same God that is with us when thing are good, will be the same God that is with us when things are bad. We must be patient knowing  God’s help is on the way. My Faith and my maturity could be the difference between things getting better or worse. When my faith and maturity is in full bloom, by the grace of God, I will be ready for anything strong in character.

When the storms of life come my way, and they will, the devil and the enemy will work in mischievous ways, but what matters is how well I handle them. I will have peace in the storms because I’m confident that God will be with me every step of the way. There is no sickness or disease that God cannot cure. There is no situation or circumstance that God cannot fix. He is everything I need. He is Jehovah Jiren, my provider (Genesis 22:14). He is Jehovah Nissi, my battle fighter (Exodus 17:15). He is Jehovah Shalom, my giver of peace (Judges 6:24). He is Jehovah Rophe, my healer (Exodus 15:26). He is Jehovah Tsidkenu, my righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6). He is Jehovah Shammah, my ever present one (Ezekiel 48:35). He is Jehovah Rohi, my good shepherd (Psalm 23:1). My health, children, husband, relatives, job, finances, personal life, friends, church, whatever it may be; the fault is of my own when I allow something or someone to rob me of my God given joy. God has granted me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the battle is not mine, it’s Gods, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.

Many things happen to us far beyond what the human eye or mind can understand, but God can. What the enemy intends to do bad and evil, God can turn into joy and good when I am tested.

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“Sowing Good Seeds”

I usually do not post this much in a week; but I received this on time message from a Soror. I had to post and share this meditation from a fav of mine Joel and Victoria Osteen.  Many things are going on in my family, and I am sure in yours that this will bless you. Please read, reflect and share as you see fit.  The orAKAle has spoken…..

Sowing Good Seeds

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life”
(Galatians 6:7–8, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Whether you realize it or not, everything you are experiencing in your life today is a direct result of the seeds you’ve sown in your past. Today, you are planting seeds for the harvest in your future. Just as the farmer expects a crop from the seeds he sows, we can expect a harvest from the seeds we’ve sown, good or bad. That’s why we have to be deliberate about the seeds we are sowing. We have to wake up every day and set our minds on God’s Word and choose to speak His truth over our lives. We have to constantly evaluate our actions to make sure we are depositing good seeds so we can reap a good harvest in the future.

Why don’t you take some time right now to ask theHoly Spirit to search your heart and mind? See if there are any negative seeds that you’ve sown in the past that need to be uprooted. Be deliberate about planting the Word of God in the soil of your heart. Sow good seeds into your future so you can reap the harvest of blessing God has designed for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father God, thank You for the system of sowing and reaping. Thank You for giving me good seed to sow! I ask that You search my heart and mind and show me where to sow my seed so I can reap the abundant harvest You have for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen

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Tips for Growing Healthy Hair

I love when I get this question; for their is never ONE true answer to it.  Having healthy hair (be it natural or chemically processed) takes time, patience and a little TLC.  Longevity should be a factor when trying to reset your hair health; along with a willingness to learn new things.  On my journey to a more healthier Silky Coils, I soaked up as much information on wellness in general while pursuing natural healthy hair bliss.

I know the list is long, but I’ve been waiting to post this after doing more research, trial and error and speaking to YOU the SC Family on what you wanted to know. So I present to you my tips for growing healthy hair:

Hydration – If you’ve done ANY research on being overall healthy, you will find that keeping your body hydrated is key. The same would go for having healthy hair. Water makes up a fourth of the weight of a strand of hair, so when you drink the proper amount for YOUR body type, naturally your hair will respond by being supple, and shiny!  I always suggest a minimum of 8 servings (8 fl ounces) a day.

Vitamin and Supplements – I plan to post a separate entry regarding these, but I did want to include them on this list.  Yes there are many hair supplements you can take (i.e. Biotin) to help stimulate growth and prepare your hair; BUT simply taking a daily multivitamin can also do the trick.  Our bodies needs nutrients to function properly on a daily basis…this also includes proper growth of your hair.  Depending on your health needs, you can find a suitable multivitamin that will not only assist in daily functions but also hair growth and repair.  Personally, I take Centrum Ultra Women’s.  If you do not take a multivitamin……START IMMEDIATELY!!! It may save your life

Control Stress Levels – CRAZY I know, but interesting enough your stress levels effect not only your overall health, but also your hair.  When we get stressed our physiological levels rise and can either stop hair growth or cause hair loss?  During this time, your hair follicles go into a resting phase cause a reduction in growth and sometimes loss.  Some of us control it better than others; but if your like me…my stress can get pretty out of control during high priority times of the year.  So ways to combat stress can be found here.

Food Intake – Long time SC family has heard me speak about this before – you have to be cognizant on what your putting inside your body.  Everything that goes in, has to come out some how; and eating nutrition foods will aid in repairing (or rebooting) the hair follicle AND stimulate growth.  Some recommended nutrients found in our food, to grow healthy hair include (but are not limited to): Proteins, Iron, B Vitamins, Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamin E and Sulfur.  It is also suggested to stay away from foods that are sugary, loaded with fat, caffeine based and carbonated for they can cause a lot of damage to our hair!

Styling/Products – First, if you haven’t’ read my post on Determining Your Hair Type you may want to first take a look before you go on. You can’t stimulate growth or achieve health with your coils if you have no clue what type of hair you have.  From there, you can find many resources on what products work best for YOUR hair.  I’m a type 4 diva, so I like products that are loaded with ingredients like Shea Butter, Aloe, Rosemary oil, etc; for I know for me, these ingredients protect my hair through any weather AND maximize growth.  As for styling, some general rules is to always keep it moisturized, utilizing protective styling and retain hair, add hair utensils that will aid in your daily matriculation of the hair not damage it; and finally to make an effort to wrap your hair at night OR use a satin pillow case to not cause damage and breakage as you sleep (I can’t stress this enough).

License Stylists are our Friends– Family, you all would be surprised how many people I run into who believe that with the proper ingridients, tools and the web they can be their own stylist…..NEGATIVE. While I pride myself on being able to better manage my hair in the comfort of my home…for FREE, I also see the importance of having a professional examine my hair.  Even though I’ve recently embarked on trimming my own ends (that’s a whole other post for another day…lol), I also make sure to see my stylist every few months to get my “art work” checked and correct if needed.

Do your research – How you think I created this list….lol.  Seriously, while reading blogs are nice and convenient, it is critical that you do your own research regarding what will work for you. I can name off at least 20 blogs/articles I found and was reading, but it wasn’t until I did my OWN trial and error after researching what I was embarking on.  There are many books, websites and stylist out there who are willing to assist.  If you haven’t done so already, take a few minutes to learn your hair type and what type of product ingredients and styling tools work for YOU.

the orAKAle has spoken…..

Sources: Stress Related Hair Loss in Women, Foods that Promote Hair Growth, Benefits of Salon Hair Care, Benefits of Multivitamins, Grow Afro Hair Long
Related posts: Benefits of Shea, Hair Types, Detoxification

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