Make An Effort: Forming New Relationships

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Good Monday Morning, Visionary Women! So, I have a small request to ask of you. My thoughts for this new year 2016 are geared toward making an effort to form new relationships. 2016 should be the year of human connection where we make an effort to get to know somebody outside of our comfort zone. We could use the hashtag #forming newrelationships, for online connections via social media. It’s way past time to step out from the bubble of sameness to reach out and offer your hand in human connection to another person. It’s hard to put yourself out there to meet new people, I know. I’m as shy and introverted as they come, so, I get it :) but honey, life is meant to be lived to the fullest and that means we have to be willing to engage with other folks of all age, races and caliber.

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When you make an effort to step outside of your norm, your efforts will empower you with confidence and give you a new attitude about the one life you’re blessed to live. And who knows,your dialogue might just start a movement to help bring a people awareness where they’re no longer the bystander, witnessing the continuation of a country’s’ great divide, but a voice of reason who offers kindness and compassion to others. Who can know what’s beyond the realm of your mediocre people connection if you never put yourself out there to cultivate new friendships, relationships and new ideas and conversations?

“Reach out and touch somebody’s hand make this world a better place if you can.” Diana Ross

 

Social Media for online users connect people from all over the world, via twitter, fb, pinterest, good-reads, blogs and websites and that’s a great thing, because I’ve met many folks I call my internet highway friends this way. But forming new friendships, business relationships and even the romantic online liaison doesn’t take the place of face to face connections. And not everyone is internet savvy, even in 2016, so connecting face to face i the bet way to meet and bond with new folk. If you’re shy or overly cautious and don’t feel you can approach another person in conversation. Make it easy on yourself by attending places where a lot of like minded people gather.

Places to make a people connection:

Beaches,

Parks and bike trails,

Community gathering

Church

Writer Conferences

Parents meet & greet at school functions

Book & Poetry readings

As a volunteer at hospital and nursing homes

Neighborhood Watch meetings

Your next door neighbors~

There are many places you can go to make new relationships that will enrich your life and the lives of those strangers who could become friends. Now that you have an idea where to meet other people, outside of your comfort zone, I’ve also included resources that can inform and guide you in your decision to make an effort to form new relationships:

Meetup.com

Succeedsocially.com

Making and Keeping Friends: A Self-Help Guide issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Getting to know you getting to know all about you. Getting to like you getting to hope you like me.”

Deborah Kerr & Yul Brenner in The King and I

Thanks a billion for your friendships, support and conversations. Remember to always treat yourself special!

 

 

2015~ A Transformative Year

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Happy Monday Women of Wisdom!
I’m waking up feeling good now that I have my toast, orange juice and steaming cup of java :)  The pictures in today’s post are significant in that they help to tell the story of my beginning. I was born and raised in the flat-lands of the Mississippi Delta, pretty much isolated from all of the hate and violent acts of the South, under what was known as “Jim Crow Law.” At the age of 18, I left home to start a new chapter to my life story. If you haven’t read the story about my journey to “becoming”, you can check it out here https://www.amazon.com/author/clarafreeman.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what color you are or where you came from, you have the power to change your story and live the life you want to live! I wanted to talk about transformation and how far I’ve come in every aspect of my living. While you’re reading my story, I want you to think on your own beginnings and leave a comment if you like. That would be awesome! I believe that 2015 was my most trans-formative year because it led me to reflect upon the events of my living and how I awakened to know who I am, whose I am and how I came to the realization of why I am. After over 5 decades of living, where, oftentimes, I merely existed and failed to thrive, I trust and believe that my way out was just God. I know 2015 was chosen for me, by a power greater than me, to be the season of my restoration and transformation. It’s when I came to accept responsibility for the power of “me”. A power where obedience, humility and allowing opened the door to my  ‘spirit’ purpose. My intuitive insight, compassion and empathy for my fellow-man, woman and child seems insurmountable through my acceptance of how God’s love shows up in my life.

I’ve accomplished a lot of good works by allowing for his blessings, favor and miracles to manifest in me. I thank him for bringing me a mighty long way and for keeping my mind stayed on positives; for my ability to create meaningful works and share valuable life lessons to aid other women on their journey to reawakening.

Nobody can maneuver this awesome life transition to “becoming” alone and why would anyone want to, when there are so many opportunities to connect to a  network of like minded women; women who will support you and build you up when you fear, question or falter? I thrive on being a lifelong learner who examines all of life’s mysteries. I’ve studied for years the stories of people on the path to living their truths. In 2015, I’ve finally accepted my reason for being; that my mission is to teach those willing to embrace their authentic truths, passion and purpose. I embody a fire and a willingness to succeed in my calling to empower the voice in other women, to serve as an advocate for the “underdog” (women, children and the elderly) and to stand in solidarity with like-minded folks for the common good that I believe rests in the bosoms of all God’s people..

Some of 2015 Accomplishments~

2015 was my most trans-formative year because I was provided opportunities beyond measure in my personal and professional life.  I made good on my blessings by writing on a daily basis. I wrote feature articles as a lifestyle strategist for a popular UK magazine, turned down writing for several magazines that did not support my purpose vision, wrote and co-authored a relationship book for Christian couples and singles and appeared on a blog talk radio show with the author of Essence Of Romance to help promote her book. I followed my intuition to speak with a publisher about a book publishing scholarship and was awarded one of four $2500 scholarships toward the publication of my purpose book for women. Unleash Your Pearls is currently at the publishers, pending publication, but I look forward to sharing the cover with all of you. I have reviewed a countless number of new authors’ first books and helped promote them on Clara’s Writer’s Blog and I’ve received many heartfelt emails from women who are searching for answers on their personal journey to “becoming. I’ve made awesome and meaningful social media connections who bring messages of value and meaning to my life and to the lives of others.

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I reconnected with my sibling, in my resolve to continue the loving family connections that form the foundation of our family tradition and legacy. I was able to learn and impart lessons to others with each passing of the seasons. I learned better ways to manage the chronic pain from a diagnosed form of arthritis that is not going anywhere, anytime soon. By allowing for God to take the wheel in my living, I opened myself to the love and possibility of “good” to manifest in all areas of my “being”.
When you transform and get to a place of “knowing” and “becoming”, you will lay ego down by the wayside of your living, because ego has no place in your awareness. I trust and believe in miracles and in the power of prayer. God’s love for me is the prominent miracle worker in my life.
2015 was a trans-formative year where I’m led to continue the practice of allowing, believing and trusting. Don’t fear the path leading to your re-discovery, re-awakening, spiritual washing’s and fulfillment. . I know that God’s love in your life will suffice and provide for all of your human needs. Here is a brief summation of my authentic truths solidified in 2015. I eagerly carry them with me into the New Year 2016 and beyond.

My Authentic Truths~
I am a child’s advocate, an elder’s guardian and a woman’s voice of reason. I’m not
immune to pain and sorrows of life, but I’ve learned that it’s never good to settle into a
place of misery. No matter my circumstance, I will keep doing the work. I know that bad
things happens to good people. I know because of my compassion, I will bear the burden of
pain when children are sexually and domestically abused.
I trust and believe through faith, that God hears and answers all prayers. I don’t judge
others for their religious or spiritual beliefs. I can only wish them well. I know the value of
forgiveness and letting go. I know that pain is inevitable and that joy comes in the mornings
of my mourning.

A New Year Of Hope~
I hope that 2016 keep you prayed up and empowered to empower someone else in meaningful and positive ways. I hope that you walk your Journey in self-awareness and authentic truths; that you rid yourself of old habits that doesn’t elevate your life but, instead, keep you feeling stuck and playing small. I hope that you make wise choices and live spiritually. My hope is that parents of children make them a priority, raise them in love and always try to the best of their ability to protect them from harm; prepare them for human ugliness and lead them to the arm of a loving God whose mercy and grace shall follow them all the days of their lives. I am and always will be an advocate for the “underdog” who in my mind, are those women, children and elderly whose voices oftentimes remain silent. I pray that love finds you in your personal life, that you treat yourself golden and that you sow seed of loving kindness to others…Always treat yourself special!

What was your most trans-formative year? Please allow me to quote you on that:)

COURAGE: A 2016 Perspective

Good Morning, Warrior Women! Today’s message is written in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King was a just man~ whose devout faith in God led him to fulfill his purpose as a humanitarian. A believer in non-violence, Dr. King felt that one day freedom from injustice would rise up over hatred and racism from which this great country’s foundation was built. Dr. King’s dream was that everyone would be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their skin color. Like Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. King stepped out in faith, putting his one life on the line to right the wrongs in America. These men stood for civil rights, specifically for their fellow-man and woman of color, but inclusive were the rights for all. Such brave men of courage who did not let fear rule their purpose!
We need courage to live the life we want to live, to do the things we want to do and to speak when we need to speak.

 

We need courage to stand up against injustice, racism, hatred, sexual molestation of children and heinous crimes committed against one group of people by another group of people. It takes courage to unite against domestic and workplace abuse. It takes courage to become the better person. The reality of having courage is that most of the world’s people don’t have it. It takes courage to initiate change for the betterment of a world’s people. Who among us would be as obedient in the fight for justice? Who is to become the next Martin Luther King Jr. or a young and courageous Malala Yousafzai? The world bleeds for such leaders.

We all want to believe that we’re brave enough, but the reality is, we’re not. We’re not brave because we fear how others in the world might perceive us. We don’t sign petitions for change, join advocacy groups that call attention to wrong or speak on #BlackLivesMatter because we fear opposition. So, we straddle the fence by either not speaking or we attempt neutrality by echoing the redundant phrase that all lives matter. And, yes it does, but we know good and well that white people privilege secures their safety against police brutality and certain death. It is not the white male population or female who continues to lose their lives just because they’re standing, walking or driving while “White.” Could it be that with all of our intellect and religious teachings that people of color fear mainstream America? Or, are we so desensitized to how we are viewed by mainstream America that we remain in the docile position that warns us not to upset the ‘apple-cart” and we’ll be fine? Are we, like Malcolm Said, “Bamboozled?” I’m no P.H.D trying to examine the minds of any demographic. My purpose as an advocate for humane rights is to address the wrongs in the hope that we all unite to share compassion and empathy and love for others. To quote Dr. King, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

We don’t practice all that we preach in important areas of our living because we fear being ostracized or maligned by family, friends, colleagues, and strangers hiding their true nature behind a computer screen. At the end of the day, we are spiritual being living a human existence and who asks to be victimized? Unfortunately, the world is composed of hate mongers spreading gossip, innuendos and vicious lies that can attack our character and possibly ruin our lives.. It doesn’t get easier when you stand in your authentic truths.

I was viciously assaulted by an fb follower in 2015 for speaking out against police brutality, in reference to officers having to wear body cams. I’m 100% for it, by the way. I was threatened by a young gang member when his crew took over the neighborhood where old folks lived and young children played, back in the day when my own children were growing up on that street. We have to stand for something…
We don’t have the courage we need because we fear we might “piss” off someone else and that someone might come for us in the most unflattering way. We value ourselves more than we value a world’s ever-changing truths. So, we don’t court controversy or anything close to upsetting issues happening all around us that threaten not only our lives, but the lives of our children. We are not willing to pay the piper of a biased media, oppose right ring conservatives pouting racist rhetoric and so we pray about it and we keep mum and pray for deliverance.
For the religious, the spiritual, the believer, the Saint, we know how God thinks. So, we know that “prayer” without “works” is dead. We are human, with the freedom to interpret how prayer and works manifest in our lives and belief system.

When we walk in our authentic truths, we trust and believe that God gave us purpose for being. Pray for the courage you need to stand against all the wrongs in our world. Keep doing the work and trust and believe on God’s word, “No weapon formed against us shall proper.”Stay prayed up, walk in faith and keep fighting the good fight. I speak it, trust it and believe it: Good triumphs over Evil~ every time.
Let’s unite as a compassionate and loving people in voice, in teaching, in speak and in continuation of the positive change Dr. King and others with courage stood and died for.

thk

Leave A Legacy Or At Least Make An Indelible Impression

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Women of Grace, these are my thoughts for you today. If they serve to move you or elevate you or give you pause or even make you uncomfortable; I’m grateful!

What are you living for? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want to be remembered for?
Are you living up to your greatest potential? Are you waiting for your dream job or for that ‘keeper’ guy to suddenly materialize to form your reality? Are you putting your dreams on hold? Are you waiting for a tomorrow that might not come?

If you haven’t started to create a life that offers something of value and sustains long after you’re gone or at the very least, make an indelible impression in the world, then, you’re not living your soul purpose! It’s time to stop straddling the fence of life and begin the real process of living your one memorable life.
I learned today that a prolific weaver of words and a very personable and kind woman I met in the 90s had died from injuries sustained after being hit by a car. In regards to and out of respect for her family and loved ones, I will only refer to this poetess as “M.” I’m always saddened by the ending of life. It is only natural that when a loved one passes we grieve. Over the years, I’ve grieved from the loss of children, friends and co-workers. I even mourn the loss of strangers and celebrities.
We have empathy because we are no stranger to loss and the pain of loss. Over the years, I’ve become a motherless and fatherless child. I’ve lost a brother and a sister and I’ve had my share of dark days, tears and feelings of brokenness. The thing I’m grateful to carry with me, is the love that burned in them for me. I’m able to keep going because of their legacy of love. When I lose a friend or someone I’ve met for a brief time, the grief is just as painful.
I met M in the 90s during our season of poetry hopping where we were seeking validation for the least read art that still moved us to create. I joined a local poetry group who had an open door policy for poets who wanted to share their work. One Saturday M dropped by to read her poetry. She was already an accomplished and polished poet with an authentic voice. Like others in the group, I knew instantly that M was special. She didn’t join our poetry group, but would stop in on occasion while she kept doing her thing. Our group often ran into her at special appearances, poetry slams and other venues where poetry readings were welcomed. Her work preceded her and she was well-known to poetry lovers in Chicago.
I purchased one of M’s earlier works and enjoyed it immensely. Gwendolyn Brooks was among her circle of acquaintances. The time I saw the two of them together, there appeared to be no outward showing of grandeur from either of them. Ms. Brooks knew who she was, of course and why she was, evident by the wealth of work she left the world. To this day, Chicago State University continues to host Poetry Competitions in her honor.
I also got the impression that M knew who and the why of her being as well. In this one life we live, there will be people we meet whose essence exudes confidence, elegance and authenticity. There will be people who leave an indelible impression that settles in our memory bank of people connections. M was one of those women.

I remember once, how  excited I was to enter a poetry contest she hosted at her place of business. One evening while I was busy cooking dinner for my family, I got a phone call. It was M telling me that due to the lack of participants, the contest was pulled. She thanked me for entering and wished me well in the future. She told me that she had read an article in the Chicago Defender Newspaper, where I wrote of a confrontation between myself and a nurse supervisor who wasn’t pleased about my locs and had advised me to change my hair.
I wrote about the incidence and sent it to the paper. M congratulated me for refusing to give in to the supervisor’s intimidation. At the time she was wearing a short Afro and walking in her truths.

Time passes and Life takes us in different directions. I eventually left the poetry group. Sadly, I never saw or heard from M again. Just today,I read of her passing.
I’m thankful I got to meet this woman of grace and courage, who left a great and honorable legacy for her family. I hear the good lord saying, “well done my good and faithful servant~ well done.”
“May your living leave a legacy or at the very least, an indelible impression” CF

Resolve To Make Listening Your “Habit”

 

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Happy New Year courageous women! I hope everyone had a joyous and blessed holiday. I got a feeling that 2016 is going to be your time to shine in your passions and reap the rewards of believing in the possibility of a sustainable and authentic lifestyle. I awoke this morning listening to the Universe call your name!

So, over the holidays I got a little R&R during the downtime, along with celebrating holiday festivities. I slept peacefully, connected to loved ones and friends and also took time to unsubscribe from some of those pesky emails that were taking up space in my inbox. Unwarranted emails will become my new pet peeve for 2016.

I’m a lifelong learner and initially these newsletters offered tidbits of information to inspire and motivate. Some of them also gave mini tutorials to further one’s knowledge from a technical and purpose standpoint. However, I wanted to start with a clean slate in this new beginnings, which led me to the delete button. It’s a new year, people! Time to walk in Faith, unleash your pearls and just do the darn thing!

I’m not going to talk about redundant resolutions or goals you’ve set for yourself on the cusp of this new year. I don’t usually make New Year resolutions, but I do aspire from time to time throughout the new year, to make myself better in some capacity. These intentional aspirations are essentially ones that helps me grow in areas of personal development, writing and mastering a technique or a new technology. Learning new things keep me informed, relevant and makes me a better me. At the same time, what I learn allows me to inspire, motivate and empower all of you. My message today comes from that old saying that if you do something long enough, it becomes a habit.

In this new year of new beginnings, I resolve to make listening my habit, whether that’s in my personal life with friends, family, relationships or in my professional life. When I talk, confer with and speak with women who seek advice and a listening ear, my habitual lightening ear needs to be on fleek:)

I think a lot of you can relate to the listening thing, where, oftentimes, we’re so busy formulating answers to offer an intelligent response, that we indirectly miss out on hearing the question!

Have you ever been in conversation with someone and they take you to task for not listening to them? Okay y’all can put your hand down now:) Practicing the simple art of listening with intent will keep you on point and prevent you from being bombarded with mindless distractions wrecking havoc on your brain.

Whole Body Listener

My desire to practice intentional listening with compassion and empathy, is my New Years “resolve to be.” Listening with my whole self-will be the habit I don’t want to break. This year, 2016, strive to become a better listener, for the betterment of all involved.

 

Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.

Are you a good listener? Do you strive to work on your listening skills?
We are open for comment.
Happy New Year 2016!

 

 

From The Experts: Pauline Haynes

Happy Monday, women of Grace! I have to be honest with y’all because, not only is this the way to go and grow:) but also because I made a promise to myself and to all of you that I would only share messages that serve to uplift, motivate, inspire and empower your authentic voice. I vowed there would be no more “fluff” on my part serving as your purpose advocate.

I wanted the message for today to keep your spirits high and your journey to truth inflamed until we meet again after New Years. Just as I was contemplating on penning such a post, I received an email from my friend, colleague and Life Coach to the people, Ms Pauline Haynes, who sent me greetings, along with an awesome message for all of us to read, meditate on and pay it forward. I declare, this woman and her intuitive sixth-sense at work in sowing seeds of graciousness in service and food for thought! Please join me in welcoming my sista friend and Life Coach, Ms. Pauline Haynes to Authentic Woman!

 PaulineOrangeJacketSmallSaved by Grace, Love in Action
~Pauline Haynes
The Holiday season can be stress-filled because of
expectations. Obligations. Consumerism. Shoulds
and oughts.
Whether your celebrations and beliefs are secular or
religious, there is an impact.
In this time of over indulgence, over spending, there
is the addition of venom spewed by some politicians –
designed to polarize us. The gloom and sadness of
occurrences at home and abroad are real. They have
left us feeling numb. Afraid. Uncertain. Less trusting.
Perhaps it’s even ignited the hidden rage that’s been
buried deep inside of us. You. Me.
Perhaps you realize you are not the kind and loving
person you thought you were.
How have you noticed the change in you? Are you
more cautious? Do you see each person who dresses
a certain way, speaks a certain way, worships a
certain way as a potential enemy? A murderer? What
  • is the profile of a murderer? Do parents deliberately
    raise children to grow up to be killers, or is it part of
    the human condition?
    What will you do about these newly discovered
    traits? Will you stuff them further? Will you act on
    them? Will you speak about them? Will you cross the
    street to speak to that “other/”weird person?” Will
    you be more open? More closed? Will you purchase a
    weapon so you can defend yourself?
    These are all reasonable questions.
    When those thoughts bubble up, it can be an
    opportunity for self-examination.
    What makes you who you are?
    What are you tolerating?
    How do you operate?
    Are you being nice or are you being real?
    What is the difference for you?
    What do you do to avoid feelings?
    What do you do when you’re at your best?
    What are you grateful for?
    What do you fear?
    What do you control?
  • What are you willing to change?
    What do you do for self-care?
    How can you love and pamper myself today?
    How can you be more compassionate?
    As I write, and as you read, I encourage you to dig
    deep with your answers. Personalize and write the
    names of the people in your circle who have passed.
    No matter the circumstances.
    Calling them by name keeps their spirits alive. Honor
    their presence.
    We have been plagued by one tragedy after another,
    murders, mass killings. There will be other tragedies,
    of this we can be sure. There will be more outrage.
    More anger. More sadness. More pontifications. And
    there will also be, yes, more love. More babies being
    born. More successes being celebrated. More
    relationships being formed. More joy. More laughter.
    More forgiveness, and hopefully more peace.
    We need a huge sprinkling of love to bring light into
    our midst, and to lift our spirits. There are some
    things that only you and I are in control of. Our
    thoughts. Our feelings. Our actions.
  • The World has not ended – yet – so we have work to
    do. Hurts to mend. Wrongs to right. Forgiveness of
    ourselves and others. Bold Actions to take for Shift to
    Happen!
    I leave you to ponder the words of a Protestant
    Pastor, Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)
    “First they came for the Socialists,
    and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
    and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me–
    and there was no one left to speak for me.”
    You can substitute Black, White, Hispanic, Asian,
    Muslim, Socialist, Capitalist, Gay, or any group you
    choose…
  • In the end, it all begins with YOU! My wish for you
    and yours is peace, love, wholeness, health,
    compassion, empathy, LIFE!
    Namaste!
  • Pauline Haynes

    (916) 452-5278

    https://www.facebook.com/ShiftHappensPaulineHaynes
    http://www.pinterest.com/haynes2949/my-co-creations/

     

    Wow, what a powerful send off for the holidays! Thank you Pauline. Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all!

    Always treat yourself special. I will see everyone in the new year 2016!