Live, Laugh, Love

“Live every moment, Laugh every day, Love beyond words.” In each moment we should make an attempt to make the best out of it, whether it be a situation that is already positive, or whether it be a situation that we need to help spin in a positive light. Live every moment, and remember that eventually the future will be the present. Take time out to laugh each day, laughter is not only food for the soul, but it also helps to heal the soul in parts it may be broken. And Love. Love with everything inside of you. Love because love is the center of life. Our souls are filled with love, so be sure to thoroughly love whatever may be in our hearts. Love the people around you. Love your friends. Love your enemies. Love the memories you are able to make. Most of all make sure you will love the legacy you leave behind on earth.

Thankful Thursday – World Gratitude Day

Today is World Gratitude Day!  I am beyond excited to watch the world take a moment to express gratitude to each other.  We all often become consumed by the daily grind, trying to cram all we can into twenty-four hours and finding ourselves overwhelmed with deadlines, responsibilities, tasks, the whims of others, and our own personal needs.  Whew… that is a lot just thinking about it.  But today, let’s take a moment to just be grateful for the here and now, the sun rising, the roof over our head, the family and friends in our lives, the jobs we have, things as simple as the breathe in our lungs and the shining of the sun on our face.  You have often heard me say, The More You Think, The More You Thank© and especially on #WorldGratitudeDay, take the time to think about all the things you can be thankful for.

Here are a few quick and easy ways to celebrate World Gratitude Day… and every day:

1.)  Put on your favorite song this morning and sing along with it out loud and dance like there is no tomorrow.  You’ll be surprised how giddy you will feel and invigorating it is to be free and enjoying the moment.

2.) List {BrotherWord – Gratitude Day}10 things you are grateful for and write them out.  Do not over think it, but write the first ten things that come to mind.  After writing them out, place the list somewhere you can see it all day.  Writing your grateful items out will help you to realize the blessings in your life and viewing them throughout the day is a great reminder and anecdote if the day becomes a little hectic.

3.) Reach out to your circle and let them know how grateful you are for them.  It is nothing like being appreciated and acknowledged; it boosts the energy of the receiver and comforts the giver.  It is a kinetic enlightenment that is contagious and transformative.

4.) Do one thing for yourself today that you have been meaning to do and have been putting off.  Nothing major, just a simple gesture.  Start reading that book, go to the gym, cook that dish, call that friend you have been meaning to check on, take a bubble bath, simply take a moment to pamper yourself and accomplish a personal goal.  Take a quiet moment to read and reflect on a devotional or meditate in silence concentrating on your breathing as you inhale and exhale and calming your inner being.  Being grateful also means caring for yourself and embracing life to the fullest, even in the simplest of ways.

5.) Touch someone in the community and remind them too that there are many things which we can be grateful for.  Especially in light of the recent hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and now Maria, many are still suffering and recovering, and any ray of hope and happiness can do a wonder of good.  Share your gratitude by helping those in need, volunteering at a shelter or food bank, helping clean a home or neighborhood, or just being kind to a complete stranger for nothing more than the sake of being kind.  FYI: Hugs and thank yous can lift the spirit in unbelievable ways.

Hopefully these ideas will help you to celebrate World Gratitude Day and start great habits for everyday.  A grateful heart is one that remembers and celebrates, it heals and consoles, and is thankful for it all.  Be Great-Full Today!

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. ~ Cicero

Be The Change

As I sat here reading the Jemele Hill story and the mounds of equal support and backlash, I couldn’t help but wonder where will this latest public outcry lead to. Let me say this and be very clear, I agree with her statement! What has been demonstrated from the oval office, the highest seat and authority in our country is deplorable and equally laughable. Our most covenant hierarchy has been made into a mockery of disrespect, hatred, and ill will that even the staunchest of constituents cannot deny. And even with that truth, I wish she would have not said it in social media or publicly.

She has every right to voice her thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, but I also feel she has a unique responsibility to use her words to build and uplift and not continue the same rhetoric and perpetuate that very hate and bigotry she is speaking against. I am not a fan of her pundits, but I agree when they say if someone would have made a statement like this against Obama, all hell would have broke loose and heads would have rolled. She has a platform and a powerful voice, and as such, I wish it would have been used to build and not continue to waddle in muddy waters where there is no escape. As true as her statement is and I agree she is right, it does not and will not change the person it is aimed it, the followers who believe in the same backward and shall I see I say, evil doctrine, or those who choose to turn a blind eye and pretend it does not exist.

My hope is for those that are fighting for change, that they educate others who are seeking knowledge and want to understand on a higher plain that differences do not equate to separatism, that opinions do not mean right or wrong, that ethnicity, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or anything that is deemed to be less than, makes one person superior than the other! That at the end of the day, we are all human beings created to love and be loved! My sincerest hope is that those with a platform concentrate on being a voice for freedom and equality. You cannot change hate with hate.

And for those that believe politics and sports shouldn’t mix, they are the same ones who think church and state are different beasts too. Until we all understand that we are all connected in a woven paradigm that shifts and ebb and flows and we begin working on solutions and not staying stuck in the mundane, superficial, and irrelevant, we will continue the same patterns. If people acknowledged and stood up against the hatred and bigotry to begin with, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. And as long as we continue to have the same discourse, we will never move past it. It’s beyond time for new dialogue and rhetoric. Time to move forward and to be the change we want to see.

Be the CHANGE you want to see in the world! Today, choose to show love, to be a little more understanding, to forgive and move forward, to be an example of what you seek the world to mirror. If each individual moves in this direction, imagine the ripple effect that could create. In no way am I discrediting or distancing myself from Jemele Hill either. She is a stalwart for the African-American, female, AND journalistic communities and someone I admire and thoroughly enjoy her commentary. I am just ready for the voices of the people to sway the dialogue to solution-based conversations and not continue to perpetuate what has already been done. We learn from the past and then we do what needs to be done to correct where possible and never repeat again.

Dan Abnett is quoted as saying, “I know that words cannot move mountains, but they can move the multitude – we’ve proven that time and time again. People are more ready to fight and die for a word than for anything else. Words shape thought, stir feeling, and force action. They kill and revive, corrupt and cure.” I would say he is mostly right. Words can move mountains and the right words delivered to the right persons in the right way and embolden them to move any mountain, whether it be physical, mental, political, or spiritual. Words are the weapons of the masses and how you use them, will determine not only how you are perceived, but also how you impact others. Jemele is a voice of the people and now is the time to move the people in a new direction; it is time to BE THE CHANGE!

Motivational Monday

How many of us can attest to going through a storm, to being on the brink of no return, to being so overwhelmed with the weight of the world, you have lost all hope?  As all of Houston and the surrounding areas continue to be pummeled by #HurricaneHarvey, I can imagine many people have begun to lose hope and worse, some have given up.  But even in the storm, there is still reason to believe it will all work out.

It seems easy to weather the storm (pun intended) when you are not the one going through it, but as I am literally and currently dealing with the fallout of the hurricane devastating Houston, I promise you, easy is not the first thing that comes to mind.  Not to mention as a native #NewOrleanian on the eve of #Katrina, this is far from an easy time.  The memories of all that was lost during Katrina, the lives that were forever changed, and now watching it happen all over again in Houston is a painful reminder of how fleeing and fickle life can truly become.  

But what does come to mind during this ordeal is the story of Jonah and the whale, for more reasons than the obvious.  Jonah ran from what he was purposed to do, denied who he was, became disobedient and indignant, and caused himself to be a much dire situation.  When we think we know it all, fail to accept who we are and what we are supposed to do, become stubborn and impervious to reality, we often find ourselves in unfamiliar territory with little hope and less of a chance for recovery.  And here is where Jonah found himself.  But I have great news… this is not where the story ends.

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Happy Mother’s Day

 

Proverbs 31: 25-30 Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; And she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared]. She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired); Her husband also, and he praises her, saying, “Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], But you excel them all.” Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.

I do not know anything that is more precious than a Mother.  The giver and sustainer of life, she nourishes the body and soul, a pillar of strength and humility, Mother is the only one who can soothe the hurt, ease the pain, impart wisdom, and encourage you to chase your dreams simultaneously.  

Mother is a rare breed and unique calling and those that are so blessed sacrifice much and receive far too little praise.  She is guided by faith, cloaked in honor, her influence transcends time and space, a humble spirit never seeking accolades or recognition, and her greatest success is to see her children blessed.  Mothers have a special gift and can literally bring heaven to earth!

Today and every day, I am so thankful for my very own Mother whom I adore and cherish and has shown me what love looks like.  A quiet woman with an unyielding will, my Mother has exemplified a Godly Mother in more ways than one and for that, I am earthly thankful and eternally blessed.  And to my Angel Mother, my Mother-In-Law… if only I could thank you for the blessing of my wife and all you have given me from Heaven above.  Thank you for loving me enough to orchestrate this union.  I can never express enough the love I have for you and all you mean to me.  To my Grandmothers, thank you for being the rocks of our family and for demonstrating the power of a praying woman!  Because of you I now know what the fervent prayer of a righteous person looks like.  Thank you keeping me safe even when I strayed.  To my aunts, godmothers, and every mother-figure that has poured into my life and loved me as their own, thank you.  I am who I am because of you and the sacrifices you have made, the love you have shown, and the wisdom you have instilled.  

Happy Mother’s Day to you ALL!

Definitely… Without a shadow of a doubt… 100% bonafide and true, God blessed us all when He made you

God took a look at His masterpiece, broke the mold and threw out the design

Said to Himself, this is beauty personified, magnificence divine

Delighted in His work, He breathe life into you and said go shine…  ©BrotherWord

Looking In the Rearview

“Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. “Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19 AMP

If you are looking in the rear view mirror, you are doing one of 3 things: (a.) Fearing whatever demons are chasing you; (b.) Dwelling on past mistakes or failures; (c.) Or admiring yourself and present situation.  Either way, you cannot and will not move forward by looking at what is behind you!

If you are fearing whatever is chasing you, you have yet to activate your faith and let whatever devil in hell know that God is GREATER than any problem and His power surmounts and surpasses any perceived fear.  When you walk in that knowledge, is there anything to be afraid of?  What weapon can bring you harm?

If you are still dwelling on the past, forgive yourself because God already has!  We are human, we will fall short and make mistakes, but we do not have to stay there.  Mistakes are only building blocks to become better and stronger.  We fall so that we learn how to get back up.  The past is just that… the past.

If you are admiring yourself in the mirror, you have become stagnant and have shined a light on yourself that will dim.  Life is ever evolving and you have to as well.  Do not become too enamored or full of self.  Life has a way of humbling us all and when we become too fixated on current accolades and allure, we inevitably come crashing down in a horrific fashion. 

It may seem cliché, but when you view life through your “windshield,” you realize how vast the possibilities become and how much road there is yet to travel.  Looking through the “rearview” only reveals a limited, close, and very small part of life.  Albeit important to know our history, learn from our past, none of us has to live in the days of old.  Each waking day is a new opportunity to travel to unknown places physically and metaphorically speaking.  Wherever we will allow our mind to travel, forward or in reverse, so will the rest of us, body, spirit, emotions, etc., follow.

And we can only see so far ahead. Looking ahead is exciting and adventurous, but even the keenest eye can only see so far in front of them.  The premise is to move forward, excited about what is ahead, but to enjoy the journey on the way.  Learn from the past and become stronger and wiser because of it.  Plan and be purposeful for the future, but do not rush it or be in haste.  The past is already done, the future will take care of itself, and the present provides its own roads to traverse.  Safe travels my friends!

“See, when you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you’ve got a little bitty rearview mirror.  And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past is not near as important as what’s in your future.” ~ Joel Osteen

The past is like using your rear-view mirror in the car, it’s good to glance back and see how far you’ve come, but if you stare too long you’ll miss what’s right in front of you… ~ Unknown

 

 

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

BrotherWord - Thankful Thursday

Excellence, distinguished, dignified, eminent are all characteristics that would be apropos to describe our President, @BarackObama, but humble, serene, sympathetic, cerebral, strategist, husband, father, and ultimate leader, would suffice just as equally.  While many may have cheered his departure from the White House, many more mourned that he would no longer preside from the oval office.  

Looking back over the past eight years, it is easy to say that no civic leader or politician, let alone the President of the United States, has been vilified to such an extent.  Attacked moreso for anything and everything other than policy and presidential duties, we had a firsthand and up close view of what it means to not “stoop to their level” and “forgive them in spite of.”  Not sure how many of us could withstand such a barrage, especially eight years of ridicule, racism, and cruel and ugly rhetoric, but this man not only handled it, he rose above it and shined through it.  

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 AMP).  Watching the farewell speech, we had one final, public glance of grace and prestige.  We saw a man of the people despite some of the people literally cursing his name and disparaging his character still championing hope and unity.  Never once did President Obama look down on the less than, crucify the accuser, or hold himself on a pedestal.  He has been and continues to be a man of the people, all people, no matter they supported him or not.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I am saddened that hope is leaving the White House and the polar opposite is entering.  I understand wholeheartedly why many wept watching the farewell speech and why so many feel hope is a delusion and forgone conclusion.  But as President Obama so eloquently stated in his last speech as Commander-In-Chief, “It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.”

Thank you President Barack Obama for all you sacrificed, the bridges you built, the hope you inspired, the legacy you cemented, and for showing us all that it is possible to love your family and lead with equal passion and superb excellence.  Please take time to watch the farewell speech and listen to the tribute by @JoeyGallant.  Both will stir in you all that is beautiful in America!

 

Super Powers

wonder-twin-powers

It is amazing the super strength one can momentarily garner in a time of desperation.  What is even more remarkable is the bond between siblings, especially twins.  Unless you are a twin yourself, it is hard to understand the psychic link they share and how it correlates to an otherworldly connection.  Having the privilege to watch twin boys and girls interact often (nephews and nieces), I am amazed often how they are immersed in a thought, language, and reality all to themselves that no one else is privy to.  #Twinning is real!

The story in the video below is a prime example of #WonderTwinPower as we all get a chance to witness the loyalty and brotherhood between #BowdyAndBrock.  Even at two years old, their special link is unquestionable.  Neither brother suffered any harm, not even a scratch.  We can all be someone’s hero no matter how big or small the feat… and they don’t have to be your twin to come to their rescue.

Feel Good Friday

BrotherWord - Feel Good Fridays

It’s the weekend baby and although we should not be living for the weekend, it is always good to look forward to a break from the work week.  It has been a week of continued nationwide turmoil, political madness, tragic deaths in the sports world, and the normal stresses of daily life… but we made it!

With the climate of the culture being what it is, it is hard to find inspiration or things to find hope in, but as often happens, when you look for a silver lining there is one on the horizon.  Thanks to @PrinceEa for pointing out the continued flaws in our educational system and shedding light on the direction we all need to go.

To all the educators, please heed his message and act accordingly!  #BeInspired

 

Feel Good Fridays

BrotherWord - Feel Good Fridays

It’s #FGF – Feel Good Friday – and this is the #GraduationEdition!  #BrotherWord is giving you a double dose of the feel good.  Each year hundreds of high school seniors prepare to walk the stage, receive their diplomas, and embark on a new phase of life.  And as common as graduation ceremonies may seem, it is the bright futures and amazing individuals who we will continue to applaud and celebrate.

First up is Boston Latin High School senior, Phillip Sossou.  Students are remembered for a myriad of reasons, some good, some bad, but there are certain students who carve out their own legacies, or in this case, draw them.  Sossou wanted to make sure that each of his classmates was remembered and at the beginning of the year he began memorializing all 411 in charcoal portraits!  His art teacher did not think it was possible but before the last day for the seniors, he displayed his beautiful portraits of all his classmates for the entire school to admire.  A school marred earlier in the year by racial tensions, Phillip Sossou used his talents to mend the fences, bring all together, and leave a lasting smile.  Watch the video to see more about this amazing #ClassOf2016 graduate.

Our next Feel Good Friday comes from senior Kevuntez King, a three-sport athlete who graduated with a 4.0 GPA and has already earned enough to pay for his entire college education!  The senior from Memphis, TN., spent the last five years waking up at 3:45am to sell newspapers.  His dedication proved more than fruitful as he has earned enough to pay for his entire college education.  Aside from graduating with honors, King epitomizes what it means when drive and dedication result in the manifestation of of our dreams coming true and that is the message he expressed to all his classmates, “Just chase your dreams.”  Already accepted into Tennessee State University, King is not resting on his laurels, but staying true to what got him to where he is now and beginning his college career this summer.

We applaud all the graduates of 2016.  Never stop chasing your dreams, keep striving for greatness, and no matter what, believe in the impossible!

 

Breathe of Life

BrotherWord - Feel Good Fridays

Miracles happen around us everyday, but oftentimes we are blinded to them because our idea of what a miracle looks like is based on something only derived of on a hollywood movie set using a green screen and plenty of CGI.  But prayer is powerful and miracles still exist!

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Tony Yally is living proof that miracles still happen and how a little faith can turn even apparent death around.  Pronounced dead after 50 minutes of no recordable vital signs, Yally’s son refused to accept his passing and began praying over his father’s body.  What resulted could only be deemed a miracle as doctors have no explanation.  Check out the video below about this astonishing story.

It’s #FGF and we are feeling good for the Yally family and also for knowing that no matter the situation or circumstances, it is only dead when we give up.  No, every story will not be as triumphant like the Yally’s, but what is universal is that life only ends when we stop living it!  #FeelGood knowing you too are a walking miracle!

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