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Journaling with a S.M.I.L.E.

S.M.I.L.E. Journal Blog

Righteous and Justice

April 28, 2021

If you are reflecting over the words “righteous” and “justice,” maybe you are asking yourself, “Can we practice righteous and justice in the same moment?” Justice is making things right that are unfair in society; righteousness is doing right by people, especially the vulnerable. Justice is more about legal and systemic problems; righteousness is more about good deeds, acts of generosity toward those in need.


Some years ago, I had a very close mentor who told me to “ALWAYS DO WHAT’S RIGHT!” He said, “everything legal may not be right, BUT keep your actions righteous, and justice will prevail.


Let’s practice DAILY what Spike Lee movie alluded to many years ago – DO THE RIGHT THING!


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Leadership

April 14, 2021

Where are the individuals who have the willingness to help others move towards an agreed-upon vision in our community – in our laws? Are there any individuals who are clear about humanity's mission to live a quality life – all humans? Are we confused about what is considered appropriate behavior when communicating from one human to another? In our society, do we have any moral priorities anymore?


Imagine a community uniquely gifted with individuals committed to a common cause – treating each other with kindness and love. Are you able to visualize a wise society to know that mistreating a human being is just wrong? We do not need to drag out long debates and question whether or not demonstrating HATE is wrong.


Integrity, maturity, and inclusivity are character traits vital to the heart of leaders - people. I love saying, “people will be people.” At this moment in time, it would be great if people would just LOVE people. It would even bring me a SMILE, knowing that our leaders understand the power of unconditional love.


Life is love; Love Is For Everyone, God is Love.


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Last DAY in Women History Month – Celebrate Today & Every Day!

March 31, 2021

The women in my world bring joy to my life. On the last day of Women History Month, I am blessed to have SO MANY outstanding women entered my life and made an impact on WHO I AM.


W – willingness to sacrifice

O – open-minded to love unconditionally

M – masterfully bring the best out of you

E – eager to empower you

N – nourish your spirit peacefully


Today, text or call as many WOMEN in your life, let them know that you appreciate them for being a part of your "History-Making Life!" 


Always Growing Forward

AAS

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." – Oprah Winfrey.

March 24, 2021

What excited you this morning when you woke up? As you navigate throughout your day, take time to remember when you could just use your imagination. It was a time when your thoughts flow, and you had the best ideas. I appreciate the time when I was young, and I would color. I would color people green, trees pink, water purple, etc. As I grew older, I would hear background voices (noises) say trees SHOULD be green and water SHOULD be blue, and so on. 


Well, art is the expression of human creative skill and imagination. My coloring as an adolescent was satisfying to me with my green people, pink trees, and purple water. Our lives are colored (painted) by God's Word. We are His canvas! Be responsible for allowing your inner whisper of God to guide you to your greatest potential to create the BEST PICTURE for your life. 


So, focus on what excites you and DO it!


Always Growing Forward

AAS

What is it we truly believe will give us the life and the meaning we most deeply long for?

March 17, 2021

I would argue to draw closer to God in a deep, meaningful relationship. I would also share that we must value the 24 hours that we are blessed with daily. Three years ago, I thought I learned the lesson of TIME MANAGEMENT. I love how I was reminded; years ago, we cannot manage time; however, we must learn to manage ourselves within the time given to us. I love the analogy of receiving $86,400 daily for a week, and I must spend every penny within the same day. The kicker is I cannot roll over money the next day, and I must spend all $86,400 in a day.


Wow! It seems like a dream and a task that can be handled easily. Take a moment and write out what you would purchase daily for seven days with $604,800. I can only imagine everyone's list. You might have big-ticket items that will need additional cost to keep up nicely. Some might struggle with spending because they want to focus on purchasing items that are worth value now and forever.


Well, I love this exercise because it is a reminder that God blesses me with 86,400 seconds daily. When I FEEL like I do not have enough time, I remember to purposely "spend my time" on people, tasks, projects that will GROW me.


It amazes me that wealthy people NEVER ask for more money or anything materialist during the last moments of their lives, BUT they reflect on having more TIME. I am thinking that in those last moments, wealthy individuals reflect on the MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENTS throughout their lives.


Today, make sure you are spending your time building healthy relationships with yourself and the loved ones in your life. How about eating lunch or dinner with your family/friends at the table having an intriguing conversation – breaking bread and bounding through love and food. Really, take TIME today and purposely have lunch or dinner with loved ones.


So, what truly gives us life and the meaning we most deeply long for, we may only be able to respond to this question as we see and experience life through GOD’S WORD. 


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Repeat

March 10, 2021

Check My S.T.A.T.U.S. in Life Daily


This morning, I heard something that made me revisit how I am making the most of every day! I believe we all understand that we will depart from this earth. However, are we genuinely embracing all the beauty that life offers? In other words, "We will all die, but are we really living!"


So, take a moment today and check your S.T.A.T.U.S.


Practicing Self-Love by being mindful of what we think, feel, and want; permitting ourselves to be us; and live harmoniously by purposely aligning our spiritual, physical, financial, family, business, mental, and social goals to your beliefs.


We shall walk Tenaciously every day to know that we cannot give up on ourselves and what God has purposed for us to do.


We shall commit to monitoring our emotions to behave positively to empower ourselves and others to practice responding with an Attitude of love and not hate or anger.


We are confident in our Talents.


We are grateful to participate in life today, knowing that we have access to limitless skies – the possibilities are Unlimited.


We love each other's Strength that continues to empower us for greatness.


Now that you have checked your S.T.A.T.U.S


Make a difference today!


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Kindness is priceless!

March 3, 2021

Last week, I had the most interesting experience. I arrived at my favorite car rental established at 7:59 am. I pulled off the lot at 8:20 am, and by 8:50 am, the car engine ultimately killed, the battery was dead. Now, I am a little frantic because I was in a turning lane approaching a busy road. I was just over a mile from the car rental establishment because I stop at the post office. I called the car rental business to resolve the issue quickly, and I can be on my way with my tasks for the day.


Well, the manager and his team at the car rental place were unresponsive to a committed customer for over a decade. As I waited almost 2 hours for a tow truck, I only had four people to show kindness. Everyone else honked their horns in anger because I was in their way. Now, I had the hazardous lights on, which indicates that something is wrong; at least, I thought that was the reason for the hazardous lights.


As I observed the many aggravated people that only had to drive around the vehicle, I was surprised who genuinely offered to help and make sure I was okay. Compared to those who gave me the finger – not a friendly one. At that moment, the lesson that I learned was people who you believe would help do not, and people you think will not help you will surprisingly be the best support.


My "surprisingly supporting people" showed kindness is a selfless and compassionate action powered by LOVE.

Today, show kindness to EVERYONE!


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Ten Things to Keep in Mind – To Make Your Life a Little Better

February 24, 2021


1. Trust Your Instincts.

If it does not feel right, it probably isn't. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." Maya Angelou

2. Remember Your Manners.

Let's not forget to say words such as, "Thank you," "You are welcome," and "I love you!"

3. Never Let Possessions "Own" You.

The most valuable "things" in life are friends, respect, love, knowledge. How wealthy are you?

4. Nurture Your Friendships.

Invest in your relationships; the dividends are unmeasurable.

5. Keep Your Hands Clean.

This is meant both literally and figuratively; it will save you a lot of regrets later.

6. Believe In Yourself.

You are created in God's image, so DREAM big enough that only God can understand.

7. Be Grateful.

Do not waste energy "overthinking tomorrow" TODAY is a beautiful day!

8. Always Keep Playing.

Yes, work HARD; however, PLAY hard!

9. Pray Always.

"Don't be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks." — Philippians 4:6

10. Keep Your S.M.I.L.E. Daily.

Serve, Model, Inspire, Listen, and Engage with everyone you interact with today!


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Time Management

February 17, 2021

Time Management


Did you ever think that God blesses some people with “extra time” in a day? I had a friend some years ago ask me did God give me 27 hours in my day. Why? I was doing too much. I recall a day of getting up at 4:30 am to get my workout and devotion time in before the day got started. However, I did not return to sleep until way after midnight. Some people would say I was living life with the candle burning from both ends. I was trying to get in as much as I could do in a day. Although tomorrow is not guaranteed to us, we cannot “overdue” today.


Yes, time management is essential to self-care. However, we do not control time; we only manage ourselves within the time given to us daily. The beautiful aspect of time is that time is constant; there will always be 24 hours in a day, 1,440 minutes in a day, and 86,400 seconds in a day. Now, if we give up sleep and rest to complete our “To-Do List,” we may have more time to get things done. Of course, we do not want to give up sleep and rest because a healthy sleep life fights off diseases and much more. Without enough sleep and rest, the brain cannot function properly. We need a properly functioning brain to support our ability to concentrate, think clearly, and process information. Most of us need about seven to nine hours of sleep. Therefore, leaving us about 15 to 17 hours to go out into the world daily to live our best.


In reality, we work an average of 9 hours daily during the week. Now, we are at six to eight hours to do what we call LIFE. What are you doing with the remaining time to ensure that you complete your goals and take care of yourself – to live that best LIFE?


Remember, you always have at least 5 minutes in a day to stop, breathe, relax, and reset. Do not let time manage you; you manage yourself within your 86,400 seconds given to you daily. 


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Journaling with a S.M.I.L.E.

February 10, 2021

Relax and Reflect as the sun rises and falls each day. Begin each week with inspiring thoughts and faithful reflection when you let Journaling with a S.M.I.L.E. be your guide to self-awareness. This beautifully engaging journal gives you all the tools you need to build healthier relationships with yourself and others. Your heartfelt words and reflective thoughts will connect you closer to God from your prayers and daily engagement with the journal.


What makes you S.M.I.L.E.? How do you serve your community, your loved ones, and even yourself? Who influences you? How do you show up for the world? What is God’s purpose for your life? As you journal, you will learn what truly makes your heart smile.


Always Growing Forward

AAS


S.M.I.L.E. Journal Blog

Why you need a journal? 

February 3, 2021

No matter if we are looking to grow in our personal or professional life, a simple journaling tool helps us get in touch with our mind, body, and spirit, gently reminding us what is essential. Journaling is a process that we can own and be as authentic with the pages as our heart desires.

Let’s take a quick look at why journaling is a valuable tool.

1. You are most likely to get done what you write down, achieving your goals.

2. Reflecting and revisiting your daily actions allows you to track your growth and progress.

3. On the days when you want to “choke a person,” journaling reduces stress & anxiety; it allows you to place all emotions on the paper. Then, you can let go and LET GOD!

Some of our best leaders develop their best ideas while journaling. Like them, you can also use your journaling time to become the BEST YOU! The inspiration you receive while journaling may surprise you on just how far you can grow.


Always Growing Forward

AAS


Faith or Fear

January 27, 2021

How have you approached THIS year thus far with accomplishing your goals? Are you walking faithfully with the expectancy that God is with you, or are you walking fearfully, predicting that “something” will jeopardize your goals?


Twenty-seven days into THIS year, are you finding it challenging to keep that healthy mindset of “I will do what it takes to have the best year ever!”


At the beginning of the year, we motivated ourselves with the “why” on “how” we will accomplish our goals to live our best life. However, somehow, we get back into our routines, the newness of the year begins to wear off, and we keep kicking the “ball (goal)” down the field in hopes of picking it up and running towards success.


If you have not written your goals for 2021, or at least thought about the things you would like to accomplish THIS year, then what are you waiting for – maybe after 2020, you decided to improve every area of your life. Well, how are you holding yourself accountable to achieve that lofty goal?


We are almost at the end of the month for January 2021. If you have not accomplished or even started or envision your goals for THIS year, ask yourself if you are operating in Faith or Fear? I love this acronym of F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real. “I sought the Lord, with all my heart, and He delivers me from all my fears.” KJV Psalms 34:4


THIS year walk faithfully into knowing that God is greater than our fears, and we will not allow our fears to paralyze us in achieving all God has purposed for us. So, pull out your journal and jot down what goal you will take action on this week.


Always Growing Forward

AAS

He fills my life with good things SO THAT I stay young and strong like an eagle.” Psalm 103:5

January 20, 2021

Today, I woke up excited to mix my passion with hard work, discipline attitude, and growth mindset to achieve the goals I established for THIS day. I have decided to take a chance on the greatness that God has filled my life with, creating me to show up as the BEST ME. Since I opted not to live in the comfort zone and travel the path of my purpose, my journey has been adventurous, waking me up with excitement in my heart. God is coloring the pictures of my dreams to keep my mind young and robust allowing me to soar in life. Are your inner thoughts aligning with your heart? What will you do today, bringing you closer to what makes your heart smile?


Always Growing Forward

AAS


Decisions

January 13, 2021

What decisions have you made thus far THIS year? Are you facing decisions that will change the trajectory of your life? Have you made a decision that has individuals who are puzzled by what you have decided? We are about midway through January 2021, and what faithful decision have you made knowing that God has you? Today, choose to take a journey on getting to know you and people you interact with better. When you woke up this morning, what excited you about THIS day? Make choices today that makes your heart leap with joy.


Always Growing Forward

AAS

Do you have a Journal?

January 6, 2021

Journaling is known to have many benefits, and I have experienced those benefits since the late 80s. I always trusted the paper and pen. I can express any emotion on paper, then allow my mind to bridge my thoughts to my heart to understand that I am uniquely created. So, I know that journaling can help with personal growth, improved communication skills, and increased self-awareness. 


Developing a journaling practice can help deal with negative thoughts and stress management – determine whether you are dealing with “distress” or “eustress.” You will be surprised by how self-reflection will help you discover “who you are.” 


Always Growing Forward

AAS



What a Year!

December 30, 2020

As we are wrapping up the Year 2020, what lessons you have learned this year make you say, “Uhm.” If you did not journal during 2020, I would advise you to take a moment to write the top 5 to 7 lessons that are having you approaching life a little different as you grow into 2021, before the pandemic.

What’s impressive about living through 2020 we thought we had a little more control over time. Although I knew time was constant before the COVID-19 pandemic, it just solidifies it even more. We are only given 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds daily. I once had a friend asked me did God give me 27 hours in a day. You may be laughing; however, I probably can ask you the same question.


As I reflect over 2020, I recognize that I need to Check My STATUS a little more often on budgeting my time. I only get 86,400 seconds daily – and God does not carry over seconds into the new day.


Therefore, I grow into the new year with a refreshed understanding of the value of my time.


Check My S.T.A.T.U.S. in life daily:


Practicing Self-Love by being mindful of what I think, feel, and want; permitting myself to be me; and live harmoniously by purposely aligning my spiritual, physical, financial, family, business, mental, and social goals to my beliefs.


I will walk Tenaciously every day to know that I cannot give up on myself and what God has purposed for me to accomplish.


I will commit to monitoring my emotions to behave positively to empower myself and others to practice responding with an Attitude of love and not hate or anger.


I am confident that my Talents will help people grow to their greatest potential, personal and professional.


I am grateful for what 2020 has exposed me to, which gives me the wisdom to know that I have access to limitless skies – the possibilities in 2021 are Unlimited.


As I wrap up on my STATUS check, I love the Strength that continues to build inside of me, growing my knowledge and skills to achieve whatever my mind visualizes.


I welcome 2021 with the expectancy of Love & Hope.

AAS

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