How Gratitude Can Help Us In Our Everyday Lives As Moms

By Lori Radun

When my older son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, my first reaction was relief – I finally knew the reason for his behavior. However, I was also overwhelmed with sadness, fear and anger. I felt sorry for my son and for myself. Like many others in similar circumstances, my question to God was “Why me?”


Through the grace of God, I am now able to focus on my gratitude. I believe God chose me to raise my son because He knew that I would give him the best I have. He will teach me to love and understand him for who he is. I am grateful that I have my son, and grateful that God chose me to be his mother.


There is power and healing in gratitude.


How can gratitude help us in our everyday lives as moms? Think about the difference you can make in your family’s life just by noticing and being thankful for all the great things they do. When you express gratitude, you show your love and appreciation. Everyone needs to feel these things every day. Sometimes as moms we feel that no one appreciates us – and it is true that moms are usually last on the list to be thanked. One way you can teach gratitude is by example. Even on the days when it seems your children or husband are doing everything wrong, find a reason to thank them. Take the time and energy to look for the good. Think about the things that your family does that deserve a thank you. You might say to your husband, “Thank you for working so hard for our family,” or, to your child, “I really appreciate your sense of humor – it feels good to laugh.” Expressing your gratitude helps family members to understand how it feels to be appreciated. And if they still don’t catch on, let them know when you feel unappreciated. You can also tell them how great it makes you feel when they do express gratitude.


Gratitude is a wonderful motivator when you need cooperation. When enlisting the help of my two year old, I praise him often and with enthusiasm. I let him know that he is a great helper. I know I am teaching him appreciation because he expresses it to me. The other day I brought a bunch of multi-colored roses home. For five days, at least once or twice a day, my son thanked me for the flowers.


Sometimes we get so busy and caught up in daily life that we forget to be grateful. We expect everyone to do their share without being asked. The only time anyone hears anything is when a chore has not been completed. This attitude, over the long haul, will develop very resentful and uncooperative family members.


When life is good, gratitude is easy. It becomes more challenging to be grateful when we are experiencing hard times. Financial hardship, long-term illness, the death of a loved one and marital strife can all be trying and difficult. It is hard to find anything to be grateful for. But while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We have a choice in how we view our circumstances. We can turn our hearts to God and trust that he has a plan for us. We can be thankful for the lessons we learn and the opportunities for personal growth and transformation. Look at all the people in this world who share the gifts they received during especially difficult times of their life. It is the painful times of my life that have made me stronger, wiser, and more loving today.


I recently attended a powerful seminar on the various levels of energy that a human being emanates. The presenter identified seven different levels of energy. The first level of energy is defined by feelings of apathy and thoughts of victimization. A person at a level two energy has feelings of anger and thoughts of conflict. As a person moves up the energy scale, their feelings and thoughts are more positive. At level seven, one would experience unconditional love and no judgmental thoughts. Only God radiates at level seven. The average person emits energy at a level of 2.5. To experience peace and joy, an individual must raise his energy level to 5 or 6.


So how can we raise our energy level and open our heart to joy? One powerful way is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Look at everyone with grateful eyes. Listen to your heart and the heart of your loved ones. Speak words of affirmation every day of your life. Be grateful for your life with all its lessons and blessings. The more grateful thoughts and feelings you experience and express the more instrumental you will be in healing the world. And your outlook on life will improve in the process.


Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms. Visit her at

Stand Up And Speak Out Against Bullying!!

October is National Bully Prevention Awareness Month.  Special shout out to Tray “Poot” Chaney, Don Cox, and Lamar Tyler for putting together this video which drives home the point that we must stand up and speak out against bullying.

Contrary to popular rhetoric bullies are not necessarily abused at home and don’t always suffer from low self esteem. Many do have a low sense of self which drives their need for forced approval.  However, some bullies do have a superior sense of self, are highly confident in their abilities and opt to assert themselves and their position in the social order with harassment.

Bullies feel in control when they intimidate others and they feel admired by peers when they act out. It is not so much the victim that gives a bully his or her sense of power, it is the reactions, or rather the inactions, of bystanders that feed the bully’s superior sense of self.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Most people do not genuinely like bullies. They do not like witnessing another person being bullied. It is a very uncomfortable psychological state, a state known as cognitive dissonance, to witness a bullying incident and do nothing about it.Cognitive dissonance occurs when our actions do not match our internal code of ethics and morality; it is triggered when we don’t act in accordance with our internal moral code.Most people want to stop a bully but lack the courage to get involved for fear of becoming a target. When somebody else makes the first move others are likely to follow to alleviate their dissonance. Bullies always back down when more than one person confronts them.
Bullying can affect you in many ways. You may lose sleep or feel sick.  You may want to skip school. You may even be thinking about suicide.  If you are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is, please call the LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
BLAM Fam…LET’S STAND UP FOR OUR FUTURE…..Spread the word…let’s get this message out to our children.

Nobody Else Can Do What I Want You To Do. That’s Why I Created You


By Lana Moline

Perhaps you are growing weary as the person who everyone looks to for encouragement or a kind word. I know I’ve certainly seen those days but here’s what I know. Only you can be you. I had the privilege of speaking to a friend who is gifted in hospitality but over the years she had grown tired for various reasons. Along with that she became a little unhappy and couldn’t figure out entirely what the source of it was. After honest soul-searching she discovered that it was in part due to not doing what it is God designed her to do. She shared with me that by giving in to those feelings of weariness she realized that she was punishing herself.

I hadn’t thought about it that way but that is so true. That spoke to me because I am quick to offer a word of inspiration as often as I can but I will admit that sometimes it doesn’t always make its way to my door exactly when I need it, it takes its sweet time but it does come. It was comforting to hear that someone else experiences the same thing I do because we often feel like we are on a deserted island but that’s not true. So I too have decided not to punish myself and continue to offer as much encouragement and kindness as I can as often as I can because that’s how God created me. There’s a Tramaine Hawkins song where she sings “nobody else can do what I want you to do that’s why I created you.” That reigns true for both you and I. Continue to do you!

Lana Moline is a freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at

My Thoughts In The Midst Of The Storm

By Lana Moline

Some time ago I read in a book that “unprocessed hurt reproduces itself.”  While most may think that this quote is reminiscent of the phrase “hurting people hurt people,”  that is not exactly the reflection I am having today.  Today my hurt is because I am still, along with many others, mourning the loss of a way of life that once was in a city that is forever changed.  If I were to start the list of “I remember when,”  this article would exceed the maximum characters allowed because there is simply so much that can be said of the rich heritage and history of the charming city of New Orleans.

I have to admit that I am hurt by many things that involved Katrina years ago and Isaac is causing those feelings to resurface.  One of the things that I am still livid about today is the poor choice in media coverage and the exploitation of my community.  No one desired to be stranded.  No one desired to suddenly find themselves without resources.  That’s just not the thought process.  However, from most accounts in the news, the blame was totally on the citizens – never mind the fact that the burden remained theirs to get along with a sub par infrastructure where a contingency plan had never been established.

So tonight as I exchanged texts with my sister and brother, all the emotions came back.  I started thinking about all the crazy things that I heard in the media and I thought to myself “please tell the real story.”  I know I have to move past all the hurt I am feeling but honestly, I didn’t think that I would be back here especially so soon.  This is my attempt to dispel some of the myths and release.

Here are a few facts:

  1. There are thousands of educated individuals who were either born, raised, or still live in major cities and New Orleans is no different.
  2. The vast majority of all people evacuate BEFORE a storm occurs.
  3. Natural disasters occur EVERYWHERE so the notion from others “to just move” is insulting.
  4. The construct of the levies is still questionable.
  5. FEMA failed itself.

I truly could go on and on but I better not.  I love my hometown and am saddened by each off-colored comments that depicts the city in a negative light.  I am trying not to be defensive but I have to tell you that it’s hard.  So that’s why the quote came to my mind today – “unprocessed hurt reproduces itself.”  The truth of the matter is sobering.  I must take my own advice this time because this is truly a prayer thing.  I ask every praying person who is reading this article to join me as I pray for my city and the hundreds of thousands of individuals who understand exactly where I am coming from.  I know that God is in control and I trust that He will not forsake me.  I pray for peace in the midst of the storm.

Lana Moline is an integral part of the writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.

LOVING YOURSELF 101: Let Go Of How Other People Feel About You & Accept ALL Of Who You Are

By Deborah L. Shipley

Have you ever wished yourself away? I am not referring to leaving your precious life on this Earth; but rather, just wished you weren’t a certain way or did not have some particular qualities and mannerisms that were so apparent to you. I know I have.


In the past, I’ve had a very difficult time when others would point out my weaknesses to me, either constructively or not-so tactfully. I would think, “ Wow, not only do I think these are big problems I have, but now everyone else sees them as well.“ I would hope and pray that these parts of my personality would disappear into the deep character trait abyss. I would pretend to myself they weren’t present or I would try my hardest to cover them up. I spent a lot of time and energy on hiding these areas that I wanted so desperately to vanish.


A big first step in learning to love oneself and in self-forgiveness is accepting every part of you as the unique person that you are. All of your so-labeled liabilities can be tweaked into assets, but they must first be accepted. Otherwise, you are pushing against the grain and not being authentic to your true self.


Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. In all of my past serious relationships, I have loved very passionately- so much so, that I’ve depended on the other person in the relationship for my happiness (what is commonly referred to as co-dependence). My moods depended on their moods, their well-being, or were correlated to the way they were treating me at the time. One can argue that this is not really love. I feel it was love, but with a very important component missing-that passionate love for myself… With it, the “dysfunctional” one-sided relationships may have flourished or an even more likely scenario~ I would have probably not attracted them in the first place (but that’s a topic for another day). Once I accepted this as a part of my unique persona I was able to direct it in a more healthy manner-passionate love for my child, my work, my family, my faith, and most importantly, myself.


You may find your dark sides in anger, co-dependence, low self-esteem or a combination of these or other perhaps not so desirable traits. We are missing a part of us by wishing these traits weren’t ours and not owning up to every inch of them. If we are only loving a part of ourselves or of others, we are not fully engaged in the experience of love. You know that feeling of being in a relationship where the other person may “kind of like you” or you “kind of like them“. It doesn’t flourish, and neither party is truly happy. It has been said by finding an area in which you have found the most struggles, therein lies your true purpose. These are gifts for us to embrace; lessons are presented for us to learn. Think of one of your greatest challenges-has that not shaped who you are today? When you are in the midst of it, it can be difficult; but when you step back, you see the beauty of it all.


Accept your yin and your yang. Accept your dark and your light. Accept your failures and your successes. I am not suggesting that we use this as an excuse to not participate in personal development or self-care, or to neglect to learn those lessons that are often presented to us throughout our lives. Instead I am suggesting that we embrace our unique selves and know that we are not on this Earth to take up space but rather to fulfill a beautiful life of our dreams in our own special way~ every valuable bit of us.


“If you can’t accept yourself, then certainly no one else will.”



Deborah Shipley is a gentle guide whose personal mission is to assist others in creating a daily practice where personal empowerment, growth, and healing are fostered so that one may be able to thrive while also being of service to the world. She has been published on websites and in printed publications for her articles relating to personal development and change.


Inspirational Moment: “Your Eyes Will Adjust”

VIDEO: Iyanla Vanzant teaches a “MUST KNOW” lesson in this clip where she talks about how we, as people, adjust our “vision” based on our circumstances and what’s going on (internally & externally) in our lives. What exactly does she mean by this? Listen in to this thought provoking and inspirational clip and make sure your eyes DO NOT adjust!

Do You Have The Courage To Be You?

VIDEO: Where you are in your life is NO ACCIDENT.  You created your reality as it currently exists and YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE IT.  It’s easy to stand still and invite you neighbor, your teacher, your cousin, your spouse, or even your children to be quiet observers at your pity party…but overtime STANDING STILL BECOMES STALE and doing something different becomes your life line.  Changing won’t be easy…but it’s possible.  Hold on to that possibility as you muster up the courage to DO AND BE YOU.

Do Black Women Secretly Desire To Be Fat?

By Alice Randall

FOUR out of five black women are seriously overweight. One out of four middle-aged black women has diabetes. With $174 billion a year spent on diabetes-related illness in America and obesity quickly overtaking smoking as a cause of cancer deaths, it is past time to try something new.

What we need is a body-culture revolution in black America. Why? Because too many experts who are involved in the discussion of obesity don’t understand something crucial about black women and fat: many black women are fat because we want to be.

The black poet Lucille Clifton’s 1987 poem “Homage to My Hips” begins with the boast, “These hips are big hips.” She establishes big black hips as something a woman would want to have and a man would desire. She wasn’t the first or the only one to reflect this community knowledge. Twenty years before, in 1967, Joe Tex, a black Texan, dominated the radio airwaves across black America with a song he wrote and recorded, “Skinny Legs and All.” One of his lines haunts me to this day: “some man, somewhere who’ll take you baby, skinny legs and all.” For me, it still seems almost an impossibility.

Chemically, in its ability to promote disease, black fat may be the same as white fat. Culturally it is not.

How many white girls in the ’60s grew up praying for fat thighs? I know I did. I asked God to give me big thighs like my dancing teacher, Diane. There was no way I wanted to look like Twiggy, the white model whose boy-like build was the dream of white girls. Not with Joe Tex ringing in my ears.

How many middle-aged white women fear their husbands will find them less attractive if their weight drops to less than 200 pounds? I have yet to meet one.

But I know many black women whose sane, handsome, successful husbands worry when their women start losing weight. My lawyer husband is one.

Another friend, a woman of color who is a tenured professor, told me that her husband, also a tenured professor and of color, begged her not to lose “the sugar down below” when she embarked on a weight-loss program.

And it’s not only aesthetics that make black fat different. It’s politics too. To get a quick introduction to the politics of black fat, I recommend Andrea Elizabeth Shaw’s provocative book “The Embodiment of Disobedience: Fat Black Women’s Unruly Political Bodies.” Ms. Shaw argues that the fat black woman’s body “functions as a site of resistance to both gendered and racialized oppression.” By contextualizing fatness within the African diaspora, she invites us to notice that the fat black woman can be a rounded opposite of the fit black slave, that the fatness of black women has often functioned as both explicit political statement and active political resistance.

 CLICK HERE to read more.

ILLEGAL BUTT INJECTIONS: When Low Self Esteem Turns Into A Nightmare

By Ayize Ma’at


Love yourself.  Love yourself.  Love yourself.  Stop looking externally for validation, approval, recognition, celebration, adoration, etc. The source of truly lasting peace and love exists within.  Ladies go within and learn to cherish you.  You are o.k. just as you are.  You are beautiful just as you are.  You are imperfectly perfect JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.  So just STOP IT!!! STOP all the negative self talk, the pity party, the blues singing.  Go to the mirror right now…look into your eyes and say “I Love Me”.  The more you say it the further you move away from doing something foolish like the woman below.  Ladies love yourself.  Check out the story below.




CLICK HERE to strengthen your sense of self through INDIVIDUAL or COUPLES COACHING


Do You Have The Courage And Faith To Be LAZY?

By Kerul Kassel

It’s hard to imagine that this could be so, but I’m finding that I have to be ambitious about being “lazy”. How amusing! If you’re like most of my clients (and myself), you’re very used to packing every day full of activities, responsibilities, “stuff”. You may take pride and pleasure in the amount of work you’re able to accomplish, the number of tasks and projects you can juggle, the sheer number of initiatives you’re involved in.

There may come a time, though, when you realize that some of the most important things you’d like to accomplish require the kind of time and focus that dictates some very substantial whittling away at some of what you’re involved in. And that can be tough (I know it is for me)! It may well entail letting go of what may feel about as important as what you’d like to incorporate.

For very busy people who like to achieve a lot, there’s often a tendency to push ourselves hard toward our goals, to go and go and go until we’re at least a bit (if not a lot) frazzled, exhausted, or frustrated. On some goals that we’re working toward, we can really load ourselves up with to-do’s, spending a lot of time, effort, and sometimes frustration trying to make our goal materialize. We’ve learned in the past that hard work can pay off, and we wonder why it isn’t working with this important one.

With most goals, it’s crucial to be very clear about the goal and the strategy you’ll use to pursue it. I’m finding, though, that in order to develop that crystal clarity in new and bigger goals, it’s paradoxically more important to relax and “do nothing” for a few minutes a day, here and there. I’m finding that I have to schedule in what I would have called “laziness” a couple of years ago. Ironic…

Whether it’s taking a walk alone, sitting and doing nothing for ten minutes, lying in bed for an extra 15 minutes, reading a book for pleasure, or petting the dog, it takes a bit of faith and courage that stepping back and doing “nothing” will help you manifest your objectives. For most of us, it’s a new paradigm. And I’m finding it works…and quickly!

So how to generate that courage and faith that most of us need to push away from constant activity? Here are some brief ideas:

1.Consider it an experiment and play with the idea.

2. Five or ten minutes is all you need to start with…and maybe all you need on a regular basis. Start small.

3. Don’t make it a obligatory drag; you don’t need to start by doing it every single day, and you want to make sure it’s fun.

4. Have a choice of a few things you can do during those minutes, and pick whatever feels most appealing.

5. Allow yourself to try out the belief that doing “nothing” can be even more productive than constant effort.