Only You Alone Can Do This

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“We can aid each other in the independent visions God has given us, but we each as individuals have our own mountain to climb, our own journeys, and our own accountability to God.”

Tonia Renee Lee, Live Inspired, Not Bound!

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Kick Fear and Love Again

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“When we know what love is, when we love, we are able to search our memories and see the past with new eyes; we are able to transform the present and dream the future.  Such is love’s power. Love heals.”

 Bell Hooks, Sisters of the Yam, Black Women and Self-Recovery

 

We Will Never Forget

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These past 4 weeks have taken me away from my weekly blog.  Mainly it has been a time of regrouping, refreshing, and revisioning of where my life is heading.

Over the past few months I have lost many beloved friends.  I am also dealing with an aged mother who has been extremely ill.  As you can imagine it has all taken its toll on me.  So when my daughter asked me to come down to visit her and watch my granddaughter for her spring break, I jumped at the opportunity.

My daughter lives in Wellington, Florida and in between taking care of my granddaughter I was able to do a little sightseeing of this beautiful community located in the West Palm Beach area.  It was during my wanderings that I came upon the Wellington Patriot Memorial.

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From the moment I looked upon the tall piece of steel beckoning me to come and see, I knew I was stepping into a special place.

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While here in New York City the work is diligently moving along on the World Trade Center project, the town of Wellington completed this memorial in 2011.

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The focus of my attention was a donated piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. The steel, which is divided into three pieces, once stood between the 69th and 71st floor of the second Twin Tower. It was an exterior column panel seven floors below where United Airlines flight 175 impacted.  Its number is steel beam C-46.

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On December 4th, 2010 the beam, covered with the American flag, arrived in Wellington after being ceremoniously and loving brought from New York .

Vice Mayor Matt Willhite told Sun Sentinel Reporters, “In December 2010 we brought the beam to Florida from New York. The whole time treating the experience with great pride and dignity.” He continued, “It has cost us more than we thought. But, it is an investment into our community.”

The flag now stands at the entrance of the Wellington Patriot Memorial.

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Beside the oxidized piece of steel, in the center of the memorial, is the fountain. Its sparkling, clear water steadily flows down at points around the circumference.  If you look carefully, on top of the fountain you can see the eternal flame. On Sunday, September 11, 2011 the eternal flame was lit, has continued and will continue to burn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Along the opposite side of the memorial stands 4 etched glass panes.  Beautiful and elegant, the names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the World Trade Center attacks can be seen.  Below the glass in bold black letters on a white background are the times of the attacks. In front of each of the glass panels is a seat where one can sit and reflect.

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Willhite told the Sun-Sentinel. “This will be a place where generations to come will be able to learn about this piece of history.”  He was absolutely correct.

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On the ground of the memorial are bricks with the names of the First Responders who courageously lost their lives while in the line of duty.  As I stooped over to take the pictures of the names the sun shone so bright that my shadow covered them over.  Perhaps, when you visit this place you will see them for yourselves.

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Just as the names are etched in the bricks and in the clear glass panels, so too the memory of that day on September 11, 2001.  Everyone of us can remember exactly where we were, what we were doing and what we were thinking.

As my daughter, granddaughter and I moved around the Patriot Memorial we spoke about that morning.  It was a strange day for the two of us because only 2 hours earlier, on that September morning, my daughter was sitting on an American Airline plane at John F. Kennedy Airport.  The plane she had traveled on from London to Jamaica had engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing in New York.  They moved the passengers onto an American Airlines plane because no other Air Jamaica plane was available.

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In the bright sunshine we also spoke about the loved ones that we have lost throughout the years and those most recently gone.  I also reflected on the health of my aging mother.

The serenity and peacefulness of the space allowed me to gather my thoughts and process the events in our circle of life.  I came away with a heightened sense of gratitude for life and each new day that I see.

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~ Aristotle.

The quote on the plaque given by the Navarro Family is powerful.

This year 2014, as we work to Kick Fear Now, let us move on with hope for a bright tomorrow. For me, it is a time to re-vision my life and chart new and different journeys.  What about you?

Today is a good day to reflect on the life you still have to live. It’s good to embrace the good memories and the joys of the past, but you should never linger there for too long.  Life is filled with both joy and pain, love and hate, sadness and happiness.  It is interesting how we tend to focus on the negative more than the positive.

Can you find one reason to get up every morning and one thing that you can be grateful for in your life.  If so, then you are already on your way to living the courageous life.

To help you further along your journey take a look at the book that started it all, Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Actions Steps for a Courageous You, and don’t forget to send me an e-mail if you would like to read the first chapter for free.

Kick Fear Like An Olympian

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The 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia has certainly seen its fair share of winners and losers.  Athletes that were expected to be the golden stars have received no gold medals and those who were unlikely to be placed in the top 8 are the ones standing on the podium holding gold, silver, or bronze.  The Winter Olympics, just as the Summer Olympics, is exciting, colorful, and spectacular to watch.  It really doesn’t matter which country you favor, somehow you always end up rooting for the underdogs.

In the January/February edition of Women’s Health magazine there is a wonderful article by Jen Ator entitled, Find the Winner’s Edge.  Jen’s article looks at 4 Olympic athletes who are on the winning edge and reveals the “six mental traits that separate the average from the extraordinary.”  These six traits: perseverance, self-awareness, resilience, perspective, focus, and discipline, will definitely carry you to victory regardless of whether you are trying out for a spot on the winter Olympics or getting rid of unrealistic fear so that you can live a courageous, fearless life.

Olympic athletes really do put their bodies and minds through some grueling workouts.  No matter how hard it gets, how sore their bodies feel, or how daunting the goal may seem, they don’t give up.  They are going to get a place on the Olympic team.  They will represent their country.  They will be a winner.  This is the mindset it takes to accomplish their dreams.

“I refuse to be deterred by failure.  A little failure today is not a failure if it leads to success tomorrow.” ~ Lolo Jones, Bobsled

“You have to be smart enough to know when to push yourself and when not to.” Gretchen Bleiler, Snowboarding

“I had no idea how I’d do it, but I never doubted that I would.” Amy Purdy, Para-Snowboard Cross

“I don’t by any means wake up motivated every morning. I’m often relying on my commitment, not my motivation.” Emily cook, Freestyle Skiiing Aerials

A winning mindset does not happen overnight.  It takes those six traits mentioned above and a whole lot of courage to come out on top.  More often than not it feels like a very lonely journey.  The key to remember is that you are never alone. 

I hope you will take a little time to read Jen’s article.  You may not be training for the Olympics, but you are working at this thing called life.  Sometimes we need a dose of encouragement to help us Kick Fear Now.

Why not kick fear like an Olympian.  I dare you.

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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/4378452948/”>Kris Krug</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Words are Fearless

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I just love words.  The way they look when you string lots of them together.  It makes me feel good when they fill up a page and form lines of poetry or prose. Words sound so exciting.  I enjoy hearing them being read and seeing them acted out. I don’t even mind whether they are fiction or non-fiction. 

I’ve always had a way with words.  As a little girl I would stay up during the night writing in my diary.  There were short stories and poems, a young girl’s thoughts and dreams, and lots of goals and ambitions. Later, I moved from the dairy on to a journal.  I would write anything and everything.  It really did not matter.  You see, I just enjoy words.

I keep writing words, lots of them in fact.  Words to get into college, obtain scholarships, get good grades, get not so good grades, recommend myself, recommend others, start a business, get a job, get a higher degree, and even words to get out of college. 

So what does a person who loves words, has a way with words, writes lots of words, do?  All the words I wrote and the knowledge I accumulated were of no value unless they were shared.  I knew I had to take my words to the next level, but fear and doubt would quickly appear and make me think twice.

The funny thing is that words often take on a life of their own.  I could not stop them.  They wanted to be published.  They knew that they could be of help if only they were placed in someone’s hand.  So I continued to write words on a topic that I knew a lot about, Unrealistic Fear.  The words soon grew into a book.  The book of words did get published and is called Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You. 

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What about you?  Where are your words?  Are they asking you to let them go so that they too can be placed in someone’s hand?  

Kick Fear Now and set those words free.

Focus on the Future

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Sometimes you have to just step back and take a good look at you.  I mean really stop for a moment and take stock of your life.  Are you happy with the life you are living?  Is the situation or circumstance you find yourself in what you really want?  Are you at the point in your life where you can say, “Yes, this is where I should be?”

It’s January and most of us are feeling tired and lethargic this second week of 2014.  All the hype and excitement of the year end celebrations are over. New Year’s resolutions have been made and most have already been broken. So many are anxious and worried that another year has passed by and they are not where they want or should be.  Yet, many are also excited at the newness of a New Year, knowing that this is a time of new beginnings and there is a whole year to get things right.

Whichever group you are in, the fact is you still need to do an assessment of where you are right now and where you are heading in 2014.  Here are some things to get you started on your own assessment.

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Ask and answer these few questions.

1.     Are you allowing past failures and successes prevent you from making progress.

2.     Do you feel guilty about the goals you set that did not get accomplished or the task you began and never finished?

3.     What about your present successes, are they keeping you stagnant and complacent?

May I suggest that you don’t stop now? There’s no need to keep looking back.

Keep moving forward despite your failures.  Keep pressing on regardless of yesterday’s success.  Don’t let fear and doubt let you lose sight of what is ahead for you.

Your life is a work-in-process which means you will continue to experience change.

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Forget the past.  Focus on the future.  There’s an amazing journey ahead just waiting for you to take action.  I dare you.  Take an assessment.  Then Kick Fear Now and start living the life you have always dreamed of.  You can do it.  Yes, you can.

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