Happy New Year 2011!

Click on 2011 to Celebrate

This year has been full of learning, excitement and even some moments of sadness and exhaustion. Through this 2010 journey, I have become more aware of my low level of tolerance for those words, things, actions that bring other people down, that destroy families, that feed the greedy. I have prayed stronger, needed less and have had a greater appetite for love and to give love. I have often used my words, that are a gift that I was given from my creator at an early age, to spread messages that are generated from my experiences, and/or my physical, spiritual and emotional connections to others and their experiences.

I felt the pain (as much as possible) of our children whose lives were snuffed out by the anger of violence and prayed for us to #StopChicagoYouthKillings, and was encouraged by the voices of my twitter/facebook friends to the tune of hundreds who felt the same way. In 2011, I pray that we continue to spread outcries from various people and organizations that received national headlines in 2010 bringing attention to neglected children in inner city communities across this “great” USA. Our children need to know that we care about them and the future of the human race. I grew up in a faith that recognizes that cutting down our children, basically destroys access to the future.

My strong, gentle and caring husband has a quote that I basically use as much as possible, because I love it so much. C’s quote is, “Progress is measured by the support you give another.” I have always wanted to be in a position to do as much for others as I possibly can, and one of my favorite people Oprah Winfrey does this well. I have had dreams of having a large bus and just going through the City of Chicago and doing for those who need it most, asking for nothing in return. In this dream, I imagine holding on to the feeling that perhaps the little bit that I am able to give, helped someone believe that this world can be a better place for everyone.

That is my hope for 2011, simple and sweet, that you, the one who is reading this message, that they, the ones who cannot see, that this world, this America, this Chicago will find peace at last. I know that God can deliver us all through dark days into the light of tomorrow that carries more hope and more promise than the past. So forget what happened yesterday, the journey is a part of the process that will carry you to the exact place that you are supposed to be. You just need to believe in whatever it is that brought you this far. Thank you God for an amazing husband, a beautiful child, family, extended family, in-law family, friends, animals, earth, wind, fire, water, metal, love, life, laughter. For 2011:

I wish that all troops can be returned home to their families as quickly as possible and that they receive the care they need to heal.

I pray for families and friends, for healing and strength with a bond eternal.

I pray for my facebook and twitter connections that all of you will be protected by love and God’s promise for you.

I pray for the hungry that they will find food, clothing and shelter in this world of ours in limitless supply.

I pray for those who need jobs that the economy will strengthen and make your finances stable.

I pray for our children (my child) that you will know that you are loved and that you will be protected with every step you take and every move you make.

I pray for those who care for children everywhere, that you receive the patience and support you need to love the children that you come in contact with.

I pray for the mothers (my mother and mother in-law) that you are blessed for the love that you give to your children everywhere.

I pray for the women and men of the world that you find the support, love, strength that you need to be strong.

I pray for my husband that you are given the tools that you need to continue to enhance the beautiful visions that you have and have shared with our family and that the canvas that we have painted for each other continues to flourish.

This is my wish for #2011

My husband and I are creating a family covenant and marriage covenant that will be prayed over as we take part in a watch service to ask for God’s protection and love. We will also pray for world peace and therefore for each and every one of you.

Love God, Love Self, Love Others, Love Always

XOXOXO

From Our Family to Yours Happy New Year!

Nicole

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SHATTERED GLASS NEVER BREAKS “RIP Elizabeth Edwards”

Elizabeth Edwards

Behind every set of eyes and ears lives someone whose life is a mystery to others. Each of us has some characteristics or chutzpah that help us get through life from one day to the next. Each time we go through something and come out of it unscathed, there is a part of us that quietly rejoices. Then we meet or hear about someone who makes it through the worst of odds and they simply blow you away with their dignity during times of complete chaos. Elizabeth Edwards appeared to be that kind of woman.

I did not know Elizabeth Edwards, but there was something beautiful about the dignity that she displayed at what must have been the worst public moments of her life. With her head held high she went through emotional and physical pain at the news that her husband and life partner had cheated on her and cancer was trying to take her life. While she admits to tears and suffering, her media headlines tell of a woman who would not let the troubles of the world break her.

TODAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010, ELIZABETH EDWARDS LOST HER BATTLE WITH CANCER. That is certainly what the headlines will say. However, I have a different take on her life. Today, Elizabeth Edwards taught us all that “SHATTERED GLASS NEVER BREAKS”, with head held high she went through so much and demonstrated what true strength looks like. Elizabeth Edwards is free from all the pain and though she never had a chance to see her children become parents ( a desire of hers) she left her heirs a legacy of dignity to learn from for years and years to come. In her own words Elizabeth Edwards writes before departing from this world, “I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious.”

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

RIP Elizabeth Edwards

PAUSE, THINK, REACT

Click on Graphic design by 360BEYOND@Gmail.com To Hear (For The Visually Impaired)

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

We purchased a home and I remember the feeling of being the new kid on the block. Beaming with energy and excitement we went through the visions we had for our two-flat and cleaned around the property daily. One day, I came home and there was a car double parked in the street, but not in the open parking space in front of our house. I rolled down my window, smiled and politely asked the woman in the car if I could park there. She didn’t move and stared at me, I knew that there was plenty of space to back in, but I wanted to be safe and just see if she could move up just while I parked. She did not move, I backed in and parked. As I exited my car, I heard her door shut, someone came out on the porch next door and she began to shout expletives at me. I was called every name in the book. I stopped, looked at her and ascended the stairs to my home. I glanced at the person on the porch next door and his smile almost said I am sorry as he listened to her curse me out.

What came over me as I went in and told my husband, was an incredible sense of sadness. I was not angry, those words did not harm me, they hurt her more, because her anger grew and I knew it was not healthy.  If this woman was my neighbor and it turned out later that she was, the opportunity for neighborly respect and a chance to know someone else in this strange new neighborhood diminished. I am happy that I had the wisdom to pause, think and not react negatively to the pain and anger that was exploding next to me. I was calm in the face of so much anger, with good reason, I didn’t know where this was going or could have headed.

The true story above is a reminder to us all that we have a responsibility to each other in a properly functioning society. No, my little incident above is not a reflection on world change, but it is an example that a moment’s haste can cost us so much. I wanted to apologize for whatever I did that triggered her rage, but I knew that it was not me. We all have moments where our reactions do not match the situation at hand. We walk around with such pinned up anger that we simply can’t exercise the power of pausing, thinking, and then reacting. Here in Chicago the world is taking a glance at the violence that is plaguing our young and threatening the future of so many family legacies. The young, who are thought to be the promise and hope of the world are having their names chiseled on stone long before their parents, grandparents and great grandparents. For some, an entire family name dies with them. Pause, think and react is a message to all of us, that in one moment you can change the energy and direction of so many lives around you, including your own.

To the domestic violence abuser, pause, think, react to the situation at hand, not to your loved one.

To those inflicted with road rage, pause, think, react to the road ahead, not another driver, don’t bring anger behind the wheel.

To family members, pause, think, react, a true spiritual brother’s/sister’s keeper finds wisdom in the unity prayer, not in divisive connivery.

To those who grapple with violence’s grip, we acknowledge the pain that we cannot feel for you, but pause, think and react, the life you save is a reflection of what the future holds for you and them. In that moment, the choice is in your hands.

To those in the throngs of struggle, pause, think and react, in that moment where despair seems to trap you, the keys have a way of showing up when you allow the pain to escape through tears, writing, talking, exercise and prayer/meditation, whatever you do.

Pause, think and react because there are enough of us in this world that can do something about the legacy that we are leaving our young.

I know that this is not a message that everyone will get, there are many teachers in the world, but there are enough of us who believe in the human capacity to grow rich branches from strong trees of ancestry to make a difference. Our examples are being watched and listened to by careful little eyes and ears that glow with the excitement to learn from mommy, daddy, family and friends. My husband and I teach our child about his family and friends that we have around us in a positive manner, he learns about the world from us first. We have a responsibility to teach them truth. A caution about truth; it should not always be based on our opinions that are born out of pain that they have never experienced, but instead with the reminder of their innocence and desire for love, learning and a future of promise. Pause, think and react about how what we say around them about other people, places and things will register in their minds. Apply this same philosophy to how we treat other adults in the world and we’re on to something good for all of society at large, a society where people strive to achieve happiness not just in their favor, but in everyone’s favor. I really hope that whatever troubled my neighbor, that I told you about at the start of this post has healed. Please pause, think and react friends. Those feelings that are trapped inside of you are part of your personal library of emotions. It’s up to you to determine which chapter to play out from day-to-day. In the words of Gwendolyn Brooks, ”We are each others harvest, We are each others business, We are each others magnitude and bond”. Pause, think react.

A message to Unlock Your Champion, by http://www.nicolecabell.com

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

Sometimes I just sit back and watch other human experiences happen around me. I did not say that I don’t participate, I simply have moments that spark reflection, introspection. Today my thought juices are flowing on the all too often, much too common ease at which others use words or actions to bring others down. I am on a few facebook, twitter pages and walk a social path that puts me in the company of others at times. Let me start by saying that for the most part the experiences are good, warm. Communications is what makes the world go round and people are engaging more and more. However, it is in moments where I witness people bashing, name throwing, negatively targeted audiences or cultures that spark this blog entry, “What Are We Doing”?

Inside and behind the doors of every home or homeless abode, lives a human being waiting to be inspired each and everyday. Our actions as human beings can be as welcoming and contributing to the encouragement and growth of others as we want them to be. What are we doing when we use trigger words that spread a message to others that make them think or feel negatively about another? What are we doing when many of us exit the walls of churches everywhere that teach love in the pulpit, but then fire off tongues of venom against our neighbors and so called friends? What are we doing when we stand behind our desks and have private meetings that ridicule a not-present employee, only to have them feel inferior in an environment where they are trying to become a part of the team? What are we doing when we use our influence as family members to stage a coup against another family member through private conversations or hidden posts, with obvious meaning?

Behind closed doors I admit, that I am sorry to have not written this post sooner. I am inspired by a few friends that I must say honor this code, thank you Ced, Tam, Joe H. and Cam W., to name a few. When in your presence I am happy to report that inspiration and encouragement are present. I hope that someone is inspired and encouraged to ask the question. What am I doing to help make a heart beat a little faster with the joy of my presence? What am I doing to give a child hope today? What are we doing that we would want done to us in return? So as I continue to engage and reflect on this human experience, I am trying to do my part, no I’m not perfect, but I will ask myself the same question in a personal way.

“What am I doing”?