Tag Archives: positive attitude

Online Dating and Professionals

onlinedatingI told one of my best friends that I had signed up on a dating website. She too is divorced and would love a second chance at a relationship. However, as a professional, she found it embarrassing, and was afraid that people she knew might see her. I understood what she was saying for I felt that way, until I decided to live in the 21st century.

In my single yesterday world, years have gone by and I have not meeting any potential partners. I therefore chose to add to my comfortable normal hang-outs (church, the gym, and various professional places), and go where there are many potential partners waiting to meet me.

I had to go on-line, where I personally know of four professional women who met their partners.

It’s been a few days since I reluctantly signed up, and I am learning how to be real. This is not an easy thing, for I have a limp and limited income. Nonetheless, my supposed weaknesses have turned out to be my greatest blessings, for they are guiding me to myself and to my ideal partner.

Will I succeed in finding what I want? I have faith that I will, on the web or off.  Either way, just looking and talking awaken something in me that has been sleeping for far too long.

I truly believe, if we go for what you want, we almost always find some great blessing.

Single Parenting and A Defiant Pre-Teen

dawnanddaughter2Until I find myself a husband, I’ve got to do my best to raise a  mentally, physically and spiritually healthy child on my own. It’s not easy, especially with a pre-teen daughter (12-year-old), who is the greatest fun, but also feels the need to flex her royal muscles.

This morning I went into her room, as I do every morning, to ensure she was up for school. She was in bed reading!

Flabbergasted, I asked her what she was doing bed.

She answered “I felt like reading.”

I did not feel like responding to her attempts to irritate me. So I said what I often say, “there are always consequences for our actions.”

She shrugged her shoulders and mumbled, “umm,” meaning she didn’t care.

She is normally a good kid except when she wants to test me, and she was certainly testing me.  I, however, was not in any mood for an argument. So I had to think of something good to help her feel the consequences of how she chose to address me.

I went downstairs to the kitchen. After dressing, she entered the kitchen in a nonchalant manner.

“I need tooth paste,” she said.

“umm,” I responded shrugging my shoulder. I was giving her a taste of her own medicine.

“uhh,” she said shockingly, expressing her total confusion.

“You felt this was an appropriate way to address me,” I said. She was not ready to give in, so she said “I’ll just take yours,” and off she went.

Normally I would stay and say goodbye as she goes out the door.  I didn’t this time and I regret that. I went off to my computer in the basement.

She called me. I did not answer. She came downstairs saw me working on the computer, and knew it wasn’t over.

My own behaviour was probably the actions of an imperfect mother, or one who had no-one to bounce her ideas off of. Still, I was and am still determined to teach her a lesson.

She left for school without saying goodbye, and I am sorry for that. I like to always say “goodbye, have a great day,” as she goes out the door. I will try not to let that happen again.

The good thing is that she knows  it’s not over, and will come home, as she has done before, sheepishly ready for her consequence. That consequence will be a good one. I am creating a sheet which will list her disrespectful  as well as her extraordinarily good behaviours. That sheet will be shared weekly with her father, my mother, her uncles, her aunt, and others. It will affect the costume she asked her uncle for as well as her precious Christmas gifts.  It will begin with today’s behaviour, where it goes from there is up to her. I want her to see a visible link between behaviour and consequences.

What do you think. What would you do?

How Healthy is Your Mind

All of us at sometime or another struggle to stay in balance.

As stated by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA):

Mental health is key to our well-being. We can’t be truly healthy without it. It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us. Mental health is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life, and making a contribution to our community. It may be more helpful to think of good mental health as thriving. Good mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a ‘perfect’ life. It’s about living well and feeling capable despite challenges.

How healthy is your mind. Take CMHA’s mental health meter. Please share what you see.

Based on my  story, (available on Amazon), If I had taken this test, I would have seen the alarm bells. Thankfully, I now have the mindset and the tools to focus on my mental health and the well-being of my spirit.

Can you play a part in transforming the world from a place of mental health crisis into a mental health oasis?

Could Your Worst Enemy Possibly Be You?

In my recently published book, I wrote about my enemy manager, who made my life a living hell. She was cruel and tossed me out like a dirty dish cloth. What I didn’t know was that she was mirroring me!

I did not want to admit it, but her arrival meant that I was no longer seen as the best on my team. I wanted her to fail. Whenever she was around me, my  disrespectful and hypocritical energy consumed me, like smoke around a forest fire.  My ego needed to prove that she was not my superior, and in fact was the very opposite.

In my story, Rising Like a Phoenix: When Life cuts You Off at the Knees, I saw how I disrespected her and was disrespected by her, how I hated her and was hated by her. When I saw my own insolence, as shown in chapter 4, she could no longer be my villain. She became my angel. Her presence in my life helped me to see that when I am hate, I create hate in my life. If I want love, I must be love.

It was a blessing to see the evil in me, so I can forgive the evil in others and create a better me. What about you? Can you see the people in your life you believe to be bad or evil? Can you see how they represent you? Can you forgive them and in turn forgive yourself? What would that give to you?

You are Increasingly likely to Have a Stroke

Stroke for me was like  a journey into madness.
Journey Into Madness –  Illustration by Ashley Blackwood

If stroke has not touched or disrupted your world, please do not relax. Stroke is the second leading cause of death, and is growing more likely to affect a loved-one, or God-forbid, you!

According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, where you can find a powerful video about young stroke survivors:

…recent international studies predict that stroke rates among younger people (ages 24 – 64), will double in the next 15 years.

That many younger people are having strokes wasn’t a big shocker to me, since I had a stroke at 45. However, I still find it hard to believe that 30% of all stroke victims have absolutely no risk factors! I had a stroke even though I was labelled one of that 30% of stroke victims, who had no weight issue, no cholesterol, no diabetes, no high blood-pressure, etc. What that means is that we are all at risk!

As seen in my book, Rising Like a Phoenix: When Life Cuts You Off at the Knees, Available in CanadaUS or at Amazon stores world wide, my life before and after my stroke, felt like a journey into madness.  However, instead of accepting my potentially lethal brain damage, crying my guts out and allowing stroke to kill me, I was pushed to fight back.  I fought back by accepting the madness and the gift that it gives to us all.

I invite you to read my short and very inexpensive book Rising Like a Phoenix: When Life Cuts You Off at the Knees, and together we can help our selves, family and friends heal from this madness.   You can get it in Canada, US or at Amazon stores world wide. If you are unable to buy it, please read the sample chapter available on Amazon, and if you want it and are still unable to pay for it, let me know and I will send you a PDF copy. All I ask is that you do a review.

Together, we can inspire each other to rise in body, mind and/or spirit after stroke and other debilitating illnesses. As seen in my story, we can find a way to replace the madness with gladness.


What Everyone Ought to Know About Rising Up

Zumba demonstration
Zumba demonstration

There was a time when I would be in front of an aerobics or dance exercise class, proudly matching the instructor with my high-level, high-energy moves. Now, as my stroke-altered body try to follow a Zumba class, I feel like a rhythm-challenged individual; moving in ways I once arrogantly found so humorous.

Instead of doing a whole lot of praying, and hoping for the day when I can again be the dancer I used to be, I had to let my body thrive where it is, and find its own awkward rhythm. Often times my right foot is so heavy, I can barely pick it up off the ground. During these times, I have learned to firmly plant my feet on the ground and joyfully move my uninhibited hips and upper body to the beat of the thumping music.

It took being knocked down to awaken my spirit, and experience what it truly means to rise above the limitations of the body and experience joy. We all have to love ourselves at whatever place we are, in order to rise up and live life now!

Sometimes We Just Need to Slow Down

Sometimes we do everything we can to finish a project; yet there is always something stopping us.  In cases like this, life may just be showing us that we need to slow down or ease-up, to see the gift it is offering.

This is the case with the book I’ve been trying to complete forever! I posted the cover. A trusted friend said the cover needed improvement; so he referred me to another gentleman, who has experience in graphics and layout. After going over my book, that man told me “you’re not done yet!”

In setting a mood for my story, he noticed my strong desire, yet minimal effort, to include graphics and visual art. Real art work is something I had avoided because I have petty much no talent for drawing. Plus, I made it up that it was hard to find someone to do it, and this would slow me down!

I finally realized that I had to slow down, for this amazing story I am telling is not my story! I only had to see that I was not alone, decide that I really wanted quality art and layout, and reach for what I wanted, for the people I needed to show up. 

This experience helped me realize that this is a story of the many people, with whom I joyously serve, and spread love throughout the world. It is the story of the artist, the editors, and many others who are on my team; people who are helping me tell our story to the very best of my ability. It is a story of the divine force that have taken me where I am, and give me a reason for living, for creating. 

I am now looking at early April for our completion date. Regardless, the date is not all that important, for I have slowed down to enjoy these finishing stages and the awesome people with whom I am taking this journey.

Who are you?

People will be miserable, they will be selfish,  and they will be arrogant. Yet, if we look closely, we will see that they are telling us who we are.

This morning I went with my mother to the Lab to get my regular blood work done. We met a friendly Guyanese lady who talked who am Iincessantly about her dislike for Sri Lankans. She jokingly gave examples of those she experienced, who she described as  miserable and always fighting among each other. My mother and I noticed her prejudice. Yet, immediately afterwards my mother went to the super market and came back complaining about the selfishness of Chinese shoppers. A Chinese lady, she said, was grabbing up all the discounted Papayas. I am no different, for I have had to battle my own negative stereotypes against what I called ‘arrogant’ African-Americans.

Each time we discriminate against others, we are saying a lot about who we are, and our perceived need to lift ourselves up from beneath others. However, by loving and forgiving others, we can more easily love and forgive ourselves. By seeing their beauty, we can see our own beauty.

The whole world changes when we can see ourselves as more than or above no one, as less than or beneath no one. The whole world changes when we can see ourselves as perfectly imperfect, like everyone.

May You Gain Much From Your Suffering in 2014

Our suffering not only gives us opportunity to find our greatest selves, it gives good the opportunity to find us. However for this to happen, we must embrace our inevitable difficult times.

Today at the YMCA,  I received my greatest gift of 2014 from this mentally challenged young lady, who I see quite often. I saw her for the first time last year, when I caught her staring at me, noticing my obvious limp. I looked back at her and smiled vividly and lovingly. However, the reaction I got almost knocked me off my feet. My beaming  ‘I love you’ smile must have caught her by surprise; for she quickly whipped her whole body around, with a look of tearful horror on her face! I felt compassion, and gently walked away with the same smile plastered on my face. Perhaps it was because of my own disability that I understood her, without really knowing what I was understanding.

Since that day, every time I saw her, I would smile at her as though we were friends. Over time, the look of horror turned to a look of puzzlement to a look of blank interest. Today, I smiled at her again and was greeted with the most brilliant wonderful smile! She was glad to see me!

If I had not gone through my own suffering, I would not have done what I did to get that wonderful blessing from that girl. I would not have been the vehicle to help her find the faith that caused her to express a knowing and confidence in the spirit of love that I was offering.

This year, I hope your inevitable times of suffering tremendously increases your love, understanding and compassion for those who are differently-abled. May you be blessed.