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While traveling with my husband today we listened to the I inauguration on MSNBC. Prior to leaving the house, I was honored to watch 45 take-off to his secluded paradise and hope to remain as far away from government politics forever. I tried to give him a fair chance four years ago, but he blew it immediately fabricating his own account on his inauguration claiming 1.5 million showed up to witness his special day when the fact-finders provide evidence of 250,000 on or around the Mall area. The side-by-side comparison photos from the 2009 Obama inauguration show Trump had significantly less people in attendance than his predecessor. I will give Trump kudos that he had followers for the four years he was in office, however many of his followers switched camps due to his blatant lies among other things.
Today, at about noon EST I started feeling a sense of relief. I now knew we were in the hands of Joseph R. Bident, the 46th President of the United States, and Vice President Kamala Harris. I pray that they will be guided by honest and kind human beings as they themselves are. They have both worked through the trenches to get to where they are today. It will not be an easy job to erase the distrust and hate that seeped into our water supplies, but we can do it. For those who are Trumpsters, and believe the election was stolen, and that an “old” man won the election, let me say this… I feel your pain. It is not fun to lose something that you have convinced yourself is meaningful and needed in your life. You have the right to feel unhappy as I did four years ago, and you have the right to disagree with me and the majority that legally and fairly voted in the new administration. But you and I must be adults about the outcome and the future and work together to find the common ground we both want.
Losing is never as much fun as winning but if we stand united, we will all win. There are compromises to make and we must collaborate using our strengths to come together. We must put down the weapons, including the evil language many of us have adopted in the last four years. The nursery rhyme “Sticks and Stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you…” is a fallacy. Words can be more hurtful and damaging than all the sticks and stones that are thrown at us. Language can leave scars only felt by the heart and often not seen by the naked eye.
I ask each of you to erase the pain of the last four years and make today a positive step forward.
Take a moment and listen to this beautiful song by my friend Jeff Brisbin
https://jeffbrisbin.com/album/1770058/blame-it-on-love I Wish You Enough4:06
One of the first things we did at Courage to Caregivers was to develop a mission statement. We wanted a clear, compelling statement that would reflect our values, guide our vision, and help drive every decision we made. It wasn’t easy to find just the right words, but that mission – to provide hope, support, and courage to caregivers and loved ones of those living with mental illness – now serves as our anchor. And it has YOU at its very core. YOU are our WHY.
A personal mission statement can be an anchor for you, too. During turbulent times, it helps to know exactly who you are and what you believe. In just a few words, a mission statement is a summary of your values and goals that explains who you are, what is important to you, and where you want to go in life. It describes the authentic YOU in a snapshot of a single sentence.
Take a look at these examples of strong personal mission statements:
- “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” – Oprah Winfrey
- “To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.” – Sir Richard Branson
- “To help others live the lives they would if they only knew how.” – Andy Andrews
If you need help creating your own mission statement, think of it as a journey, and use your core values as your guide map. What are the values that are most important to you, that serve as the very core of your beliefs, and that guide all of your decisions?
We’ve identified our core values, and maybe some of them will resonate with you. They include:
- Growth mindset
Once you know your core values, the next step is to decide where you want to go (your goals). Then, think about what “the best” would look like for you (dream BIG), how you want to act, and what kind of legacy you want to leave behind.
That’s all there is to it! A personal mission statement allows you to describe yourself, your values, and your goals and to let others know that you are not just a caregiver. You are an individual who is anchored by hopes, dreams, and promise! It all starts with YOU.
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers
Let’s talk about podcasts…
“Podcasting is a free service that allows Internet users to pull audio files (typically MP3s) from a podcasting Web site to listen to on their computers or personal digital audio players. The term comes from a combination of the words iPod (a personal digital audio player made by Apple) and broadcasting.”
Free is a questionable word because there is a cost to put a podcast together beginning with a computer or High-End Smart Phone. However, to record it and get the listener or viewership to build your audience, you will pay for a service where you will upload your file for anyone to listen to.
Here at newclevelandradio.net, we take all the guesswork out of the equipment, recording, or posting software/sites. We do not charge a subscription fee however, our podcasters pay a modest fee to share their platforms. As the producer and office manager, I am here to help you become the voice of your podcast (email me at email@example.com).
Our promotion platform is based on networking. Newclevelandradio.net can create and place the social media to distribute your show, but you must network and get your message out too. We set up webpages for each client and it is up to each one to share their links and encourage their friends, family, and business acquaintances to share their voice too.
In lieu of yesterday’s distressing events in our Nation’s capital, we’re finding it hard to focus on this month’s theme – Dream BIG, and our weekly topic – creating our personal timeline.
None of us will forget where we were, who we were with, and how we (continue to) process these tragic events for our country – much like we won’t forget where we were as 9/11 unfolded. Perhaps this is how it fits with our personal timeline? THIS – these events – yesterday/today are now a part of all our timelines.
We’ve never shied away from hard conversations or hard topics, yet, after what feels like some of our hardest days – weeks – months and almost a year – here we are – more HARD.
It strikes me how much pain there is in the world. We were never promised a life without pain. Yet, so much pain? I know as caregivers, we often ask ourselves the same question.
I’m doing my best NOT to turn on the news. It’s almost too much to bear witness to. Trust me, I’m not living in a fantasy world where I believe we are or should be all the same, sharing the same values and beliefs and understanding. I actually believe all of our differences are what makes life’s journey – our stories – so much richer.
I’m also doing my best to not judge. I have witnessed so much judgment – self-judgment and judgment of others.
Let’s for just this moment, first, take a long, deep, cleansing breath together. Then, let’s not judge – let’s pray or offer our hearts and thoughts – and pray for more kindness and love and less hate. Let’s also send up our hearts and souls that those living with so much pain can find a way to let go of that pain, find a way to heal and move forward in peace.
I also know that offering thoughts and prayers feel small right now, and often does. When things feel out of control, I am reminded to focus on what is in my control.
Right now, what IS in my control are my values – including kindness, compassion, love – and how I live my values. How I choose to tell my story – and I choose hope. I am only one person, yet, history has shown that one person CAN make a difference. It starts with us.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” – Karen Mass
We all have a story. Your story is your journey, with all the bumps and stops and detours.
As we look at our personal timelines, our stories – how can we bring and find HOPE from our own stories – and those of others?
Having a personal VISION for yourself – how you see your life unfolding – how you navigate the twists and turns of your life – begins with your values.
What is important to you? What is on your moral compass that guides your decision-making?
Having clarity – 20/20 vision – of what you hope to achieve and accomplish in your lifetime is essential to navigating the ups and downs that life throws at us.
When you have a clear vision – you are able to …
… tackle hard decisions more easily
… maintain a healthy perspective when things get hard
… stay focused on where you are going – keeping your eye on the prize – your ability to dream BIG!
“Make your vision so clear that your fears become irrelevant.” – Unknown
Remember … COURAGE is the antidote to fear.
SO, muster up ALL the courage you can – and create that VISION for your life where your fears are irrelevant.
Amidst all the complicated emotions we have these hard days … don’t forget it all starts with you, so don’t forget to take care of YOU, too.
Sent in peace with love,
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers
Have you ever felt like your age hindered you? Maybe you were too young, too old, or looked too young or too old! As children we can’t wait to grow up but even as children we never seem to be the right age at the right time for whatever is we are trying to achieve. We can’t wait to be teens, being a teenager comes with some grown-up rights of passage, including driving and often dating! And of course, other events attempt to identify us with a number, called age.
I remember being in my mid-twenties and yet not “old enough” to have the experience that I needed to move onward and upward, yet I now know that was my inadequacies speaking. I owe this realization to the strong women in my life beginning with my mother (who I never acknowledged as being my SHeroe.) But most recently Barbara Rose Brooker has become my mentor, friend, sister, and SHeroe teaching me that I, like you, are enough.
On March 20, 2021, I will celebrate AGEMARCH with Barbara and the following she has created to AGE MAGNIFICENTLY, to be the person I am and intend to be. I will not make excuses for who I was and the path I followed to get to where I am today. My birthday is a day to celebrate my being and to continue the path to living magnificently. Do not judge me for my age, the color of my skin, whether I am tall or short, rich or poor, but take a moment to see me as a reflection of yourself as we come together and celebrate the opportunities for all of us.
Go to Agemarch.org and join today!
Don’t BE ME, I’m Already Taken!
Find Your Inner Glow and let it Flow…
Follow the fork in the Road and Challenge Yourself
Learn from Mistakes
Turn Mistakes into opportunities…
Forgive yourself and accept others for their uniqueness
Remember being the SAME can BE Boring but BEING SIMILAR – well that is another story…
Do not let others diminish your dreams!
Your success belongs only to you and you are the one that identifies it…
Who said you CAN’T?
STOP listening to that inner voice that pushes you off the ledge,
You can make decisions… (don’t be told differently.)
Be kind to others even when they are not kind to you,
Meanness is ugly and you are not,
You are the sunshine, and your rays are warm embraces…
Life is not predictable!
We do not enter this life with any guarantees, we must create the footsteps that will take us from birth to death,
Do not waste your time, live it!
When obstacles show up on your path, approach them, and turn them into positive energy.
No one is obstacle-free – when necessary ask for help,
Asking for help will make you STRONGER, HEALTHIER, and EMOTIONALLY HAPPY!
Take that first step, age is not a barrier, you can change your thoughts from sad to pleasing to JOYFUL!
We all have an expiration date, so find yourself before…
With this being the week of the winter solstice, it’s fitting that our topic is transforming darkness into light. The solstice means there’s nothing but longer days ahead, and the darkest days are behind us. We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but I think we may be getting that metaphor wrong. I think WE are the light.
We’ve all survived a lot this year. We’ve faced fears and found courage. We’ve experienced pain and found ways to cope. We’ve fallen down and gotten right back up, perhaps many times. In other words, we’ve faced the darkest times, and we’ve been able to turn them into light. This is also called resilience, and it’s something to CELEBRATE.
So, congratulations! Not only have you survived the winter solstice and 2020, but you’ve also done many hard things throughout the year to make your own light. Many of those things were probably unexpected, and you may not have even known you were capable of doing them. Perhaps you found your “why” this year – your motivation for your healing journey and personal growth.
Yet, I know that during difficult times, it can be hard to keep the darkness from overwhelming our thoughts. For me, it literally feels like I’m drowning and can’t get enough air sometimes. I know it’s OK to not be OK, but still, it’s not a place where I want to set up camp, so I try to recognize when I need help. I don’t want to spend days, weeks, or months without seeing a way out of the darkness.
If you feel overwhelmed by the darkness, don’t try to “get over it” alone. Reach out to friends, family, or anyone in your support group. Is there someone in your life who truly inspires you, who brings light to you, who always seems to know just what you need? Or, there are many 24/7 crisis hotlines that are always available – such as, in Cleveland, the frontlineservice.org Crisis Hotline at 216-623-6888 or United Way Cleveland’s 211 Help Center – or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Remember, you’re NEVER alone. The holiday season is time to celebrate, and at Courage to Caregivers, we’re celebrating YOUR resilience … your ability to turn darkness into light and to do hard things every day. And we know we can do the next hard thing, too. We’ve got this!
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers
This holiday season certainly is different in many ways. Due to the pandemic, many of us are doing things differently by minimalizing our activities, staying home, and celebrating with smaller groups of people.
But as families and caregivers supporting those we love living with mental illness, we’re no strangers to “different.” And we know that “different” doesn’t mean “bad.” It can also mean opportunities and possibilities.
Much of my inspiration for this week’s commentary came from this article on planning for success in the pandemic version of the holidays. I think it hits the mark on how many of us are feeling about this holiday season:
“The social isolation, uncertainty about employment, income, health and the health of Covid vulnerable people you love has posed a unique challenge for us all. It is completely understandable for you to have some apprehension about the upcoming holidays.”
“So, instead of talking about the typical mental health messages to use self-care and recalibrate expectations, I recommend that you take a different approach. You need to assume that things will be difficult and that there will be some casualties, kind of like a battle between the Holidays as we used to know them and the Pandemic version of the holidays. You need to learn from the approach the Navy Seals and successful survivors of difficult, painful and dangerous events employ. In short, you need to be prepared to deal with difficult things, knowing that it will be difficult, and make the measure of success your ability to get through with your mental health and physical health intact.”
The article lists five ways to be resilient and thrive during difficult times:
- View the current pandemic (and any difficult situation) as a challenge to be mastered and an opportunity for something to be gained.
- Reframe stress as something that is inevitable, that occurs every day, and is desirable.
- Set your goal on living your life with moral integrity, and assume that it will take effort.
- Analyze what went well and why, instead of focusing on what was disappointing or upsetting.
- Focus on service to others.
The article also says, “Start telling yourself that the 2020 Holidays are a time to clarify what really matters about the holidays and to figure out how to honor those important values of family, worship, community or charity. These do not require holiday parties, lots of gifts or large gatherings to fulfill. You will need to get creative to express the holiday spirit pandemic-style.”
In other words, this “different” holiday season is no different from other challenges we face during our lives. It’s also an opportunity, full of possibility and HOPE, to be creative, to honor our values, and to celebrate those we love.
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers