Lately there has been a lot of attention to those who feel they have been suppressed or treated unfairly. With the #Metoo movement, protests of a political nature people are demanding equal treatment and pay for all. Personally, I am ok with this. It is my firm belief that regardless of what faith, political party, what the color of your skin is or whether you are a man or a woman you should be treated with equal dignity and respect.
I write this post not for any of the afore mentioned groups. This post is about those who cannot create a crafty hashtag slogan. They cannot come together to peacefully protest. They are not even allowed to vote and more often than not are too afraid to even speak up for themselves. Children. April is Child Abuse Prevention month. It is a cause I really wish to bring to light. Children are often not able to bring to light what is going on in their lives for fear of being punished for it. Sometimes the abuse comes from those very people who are supposed to be the ones protecting them.
The repercussions of child abuse can not only last, but continue to grow well into adulthood. I would implore you to take time to help protect a child so in the future we have less adults to heal. Child abuse can be hard to address and even harder to detect. I encourage us all to spend even a small amount of time this month educating ourselves on child abuse. There are plenty of resources available. Websites such as preventchildabuse.org and childhelp.org. There is also the national child abuse hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) On these sites there is plenty of information and additional resources.
There are also plenty of groups you could either donate to or become involved in. One of my favorites is Guardians of the Children(GOC) The mission of this group is to help educate on child abuse as well as assist the victims of child abuse and their families in crisis by providing strength and stability in a variety of different ways. I encourage you to consider joining or donating to their group. You can learn more about them and how you can help at their website http://www.guardiansofthechildren.com
This is only merely scratching the surface of what we can do. Look for local groups in your area to help, or even just Google ‘child abuse prevention’ to learn more. We may overlook a group that cannot post on social media or run to the news. It is for this very reason I encourage every one of us to help. By helping a child and giving them hope you will also be helping them become a successful and healed adult. Please do your part not only this month, but all year long.
Many of the questions I encounter in my work have to do with relationships and the stress that goes with them. Add to the fact that in addition to being a self-improvement author and motivational speaker I also have a very public and loving relationship people are inclined to ask me advice.
The picture above is obviously geared toward men, but would work the same way for either gender. Most of us focus on finding the right person. In reality if we are focusing on others we run the danger of losing ourselves. When you are becoming the best person you can be, the right person will naturally be attracted to you. If you are a person who enjoys reading or who would even like to, you may find your perfect match if you spend quality time in a bookstore or library. Wanting to get fit? Your soul mate may not be at an all you can eat buffet.
Here is another aspect of working on yourself. A quote I love and do my best to live by is one from the author and speaker Eric Thomas “You must be ready for the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity”. That opportunity may be the person of your dreams. If you are still dealing with your own issues, that person may not find it desirable to be with you. How many times have we found ourselves saying “I wish I would have not done/said that”. I think all of us, myself included have uttered that phrase a million times. If we are dealing with anger management problems, or emotional baggage from a past relationship it can make it very difficult, if not impossible to enter into a new, healthy relationship. I can safely say the success of my current relationship has as much to do with both parties working on bettering themselves as it does both parties working on the relationship.
Take being a better listener, problem solver, communicator or any other relationship skill. If you learn how to do these effectively your relationship whether the one you are currently in, or the one you will enter into in the future, stands a far more likely chance of being loving and successful. Even if only one partner has skills in any of these, it is easier to demonstrate them to the other. Both Margie and I have shared things with each other that we have learned trying to better ourselves. Those very things have went on to better the other as well as the relationship.
The good and the bad news? The bad news is working on ourselves is a never ending project. There will always be areas in which we can improve. The good news about that is it means our relationships, as well as our life will continue to get better as we continue to better ourselves. So if you want a better relationship, or a better life. The answer lies as close as the bathroom mirror. Ask yourself the empowering question “How can I become more?”
Diets, Botox, plastic surgery, supplements, 90 day fitness plans. They are over. They promise each of us the result of a more beautiful appearance. The marketing companies spend untold amounts of money playing on our fears and our dissatisfaction with our lives and ourselves. The only more amazing thing is the amount of money, in the billions yes that is Billions with a ‘B’ that we spend trying to find a cure that honestly lies within each of us. What is this secret? How do we turn we use it to transform ourselves and our lives into something extremely beautiful? To answer that let me use an example of two beautiful women in my life. My amazing and lovely friends Stephanie and Kim. What makes these two women so special? Great Question. Both a hard-working women at the jobs they do. both are full-time parents to their children and take great pride in the job of raising their children in the way they believe to be best. They also spend times working on improving themselves through various self-improvement activities. The add physical fitness when time affords. They learn new things that allow them to be even more amazing parents as well as spouses to the men in their lives. Now each of the things mentioned above alone could qualify them as beautiful people and I would certainly say it does. Do they sometimes have issues in all the issues mentioned above? I am sure they would be the first to admit they do. Try as we may nobody is the perfect spouse, they perfect parent or even the perfect employee. So what secret do they use, knowingly or not to be the beautiful people they are? It goes by several names, attitude, approach to life, passion. Call it what you will it has many features. One they focus on what it is going right in their world. They are filled with gratitude and express it to the people and situations they feel it towards. They are proud of the people in their lives and let them know it. Instead of complaining about something their children of spouse has done, they are often thanking them publicly for everything that they do for them. They also offer words of kindness and encouragement to others with no expectation of anything in return. Could these ladies complain of the vast amount of obligations and responsibilities they deal with daily? yes and they would have every right. it is their decision to not only endeavor to complete those responsibilities with the best of their ability, but to go the extra mile for others in their lives. In return others are drawn to them and they find themselves on the receiving end of many good fortunes. The best part bringing that positive and passionate attitude to life creates an inner beauty that shines from inside them all the way through to the outside making them two of the most beautiful people The feelings you create in the souls of others will do more for your beauty than a years worth of Botox treatments. Several trips to the spa or any other outer activity we may try. I’m sure you may know people like this in your life. I myself am fortunate enough to have many more. if you happen to meet Stephanie and Kim you will be able to see what true beauty looks like. I am grateful for them and for all of my friends who show me many different definitions of the word beautiful. so if you are looking to increase your beauty before you run to the spa, or order that next miracle product try looking inside or yourself. Your soul is the ultimate beauty product
Recent events in CT may leave us searching for ways to deal with such senseless violence. First things first, we must realize there truly is no sense to it. Trying to understand such malicious acts is not going to get us anywhere. Of course neither is saying ‘how bad the country is getting’ or ‘how terrible people are now’ Personly, I am not sure if either of those statements have truth to them or if technology has made such events more available to us. Either way, it is a heavy burden on all of our hearts. There is however, a gift to be found even in such tragedy. Instead of focusing on the evil of this situation, thus giving it more energy. I feel it is fair to point out the heros who gave their lives to protect children. Not to mention how it pulled our nation together. So while we take time so send our love and prayers to all those involved, let us not forget to be grateful. Grateful for the brave first responders. Grateful for the children who are safe. Grateful for the reminder to be more patient with our own children. Remeber to rally for peace, not against violence. Now more then ever it is more important to learn to listen to and love one another.