After surviving traumatic experiences, such as domestic violence abuse, much healing is needed. The end to the experience does not end the trauma. Healing doesn’t happen over night, and it doesn’t happen without working for it. Surviving after trauma does not equate to be healed. Simply making it through each day and week should not be enough. It is not enough. That is why I am “planning” to heal. I challenge you to do the same!
Not long ago, I realized that I was just surviving. Between a full time career and three children, I barely found the time to experience absolute joy. This is not to say that my life was completely void of joy. It is more saying that being in “survivor mode” did not allow me to fulling engage in the joy that was around me.
It is so easy to go through a day without stopping and caring for ourselves. How many times have we wished that there was more time in a day? It may seem difficult to “find” time for personal care, but the time we spend in joy and in peace is the time where healing resides.
I am challenging myself to Plan2Heal. My ultimate goal is to “find” time for my healing through planning to use my time more efficiently. I am in the process of designing a planner to use as a guide. I would love for you to join me in this challenge. The planner will have 6 unique pages, which you can print as needed. And it will be free.
Success is easier and sweeter when it is done together. Let’s help keep each other accountable. Let’s plan2heal together. Look for the planner and more details next week.
Also, if you are a survivor of Domestic Violence Abuse, a business owner, and an iPhone user, and you are not on Clubhouse but would like to be, send me an email or message me through social media. I have invites.
A few weeks ago, a stranger paid for my lunch. This random act of unexpected kindness was shocking. Had it not been for my temporary state of disbelief, I may had “paid it forward” immediately. However, this weekend, I saw the perfect opportunity for kindness in this current time of uncertainty.
I went to a store to buy a couple of items. During checkout, I noticed some bagged items had been left. I brought the bags to the attention of the cashier, hoping that no one left them accidentally. Afterwards, the cashier motioned toward the near-by customer using the phone. Then the cashier realized that the customer was attempting to use an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer/ Food Stamp) card, which the store did not accept. As I finished my transaction, I quietly asked the balance of the other customer’s purchases and paid for it before they had the chance to leave the building.
Kindness is Contagious
Kindness is contagious! Although we will witness some ‘ugly’ acts such as hoarding needed supplies, we often see very beautiful acts of kindness during our most difficult times. We could never predict the exact affect of such actions. We cannot know with certainty how many lives a seemingly small act can touch. The recipient may pay-it-forward with kind words to a friend or an unexpected call to family member. Perhaps they will be encouraged to help an elderly or physically challenged person with a difficult task. Or just maybe, they become a little less bias because of receiving kindness from someone they normally would judge as ‘bad’.
Many of us are currently connected through the unprecedented times that we are currently in, but please remember that people all around the world are in crises and are suffering everyday. When new cases plateau and the threat level has receded, don’t forget to be kind to the man, woman, or child fleeing from extremely impoverished and/or war-torn countries. Do not forget to be kind to the activist fighting to improve the community of children who live in uncertainty everyday. Be kind to the homeless, even if it is just an acknowledging smile. Kindness is always needed!
Kindness in Action
I would love to hear from you! What are some acts of kindness that you have experienced?
Many of us are staying home more then usual. What are you watching, reading, or listening to in order to stay busy or entertained? What hobbies are you picking up? Which interests are you building upon?
A lot of us parents are overseeing school assignments that are usually completely at school. Teachers, what advice to you have for parents? What resources do you suggest? What special accommodations are you making for your students?
Some of us are cooking at home more. Are you trying any new meals? Do you have tips or recipes to share?
Let’s share and spread kindness!
Support Not Mad. Motivated.
As always, we invite you to support Not Mad. Motivated. Please leave a comment, subscribe to our blog and/or newsletter. Visit our shop and help us spread the Not Mad. Motivated. mindset with every purchase of a t-shirt or tote. Our current inventory of youth size t-shirt are $10 online until they are gone. We only have six shirts in our smallest size, XS. Show your support by purchasing one today!
For weeks, the lyrics to Greatest Love of All have been playing in my mind often. I believe the children are our future. Really, I do. Teach them well and let them lead the way! We are constantly teaching the youth in our lives with our words and actions. Whether we like it or not, what we say or do to or around children can greatly influence our future leaders and communities. In other words, we can make a difference on how they view themselves and others, how they react to disappointments and difficulties, and how they celebrate accomplishments. So when we are around children, we should remember that we are teaching our future leaders!
Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Let us encourage the youth. Highlight their strengths, while advising them in areas that they have opportunities for growth.
Give Them a Sense of Pride to Make it Easier
A Little Bit of Everything: Hygiene
There is a segment in the Not Mad. Motivated. Newsletter called A Little Bit of Everything: Starting Conversations with the Youth in Our Lives. In our first issue, January 2020, our focus is on hygiene. Although most children learn about aspects of hygiene at an early age, it is important to keep those conversations going and the lines of communication open.
Talk about the different types of hygiene and the benefits of healthy practices. Discuss when and how to wash hands, clip nails, brush teeth, etc. Evaluate if skin and hair are getting moisturized properly. If there is physical evidence of the need for improvement, help pinpoint what is being done incorrectly. Revisiting these types of lessons can be very helpful.
Poor hygiene habits can also affect your self-esteem. Looking and feeling presentable can give you a confidence boost and a sense of pride in your appearance.
If necessary, establish a hygiene routine. Include tasks such as washing clothes, changing sheets, towels, and pillowcases, and cleaning living environment. These tasks are not just chores, they are extensions of our wellness habits.
A Little Bit of Everything: Following Instinct
Our second issue, February 2020, we are encouraged to speak to our youth about trusting their instinct. One way to do this is to talk to them about their feelings and to value the thoughts that they share. We have to help build their confidence while they are young so that they are better equip to make those hard decisions later.
Acknowledge their perspectives, and value their choices. Don’t fault them for trusting their own instincts, even if their choice doesn’t match yours.
Let the Children’s Laughter Remind Us How We Used To Be
No one has a perfect childhood. Therefore, being reminded of how things used to be may not always bring up the best memories. However, if your childhood is overshadowed by negativity, let the youth of today be your way to “make it right”. Be reminded of the good that you experienced. As far as the bad, be reminded of the love and compassion that you deserved! Let’s stop teaching our future leaders destructive cycles of hurt (disguised as anger) and abuse.
Home and school should be safe havens for our youth. Everybody’s searching for a hero. People need someone to look up to. Be that person that the youth in your life can look up to! We do not want to make “our children” look too far for a hero; they may find someone not worthy of that title. So be the model that they need to see.
Teaching Future Leaders: A Not Mad. Motivated. Point of View
My oldest son has been struggling academically, while my middle son struggles with behavior at times. Although there are some elements of each of these circumstances that have been frustrating, I have decided to get back to the basics! Starting with establishing better hygiene practices to build a solid foundation of confidence and self-esteem.
It could be easy to get upset and blame children for their challenges but I understand that their “failures” are really representations of my own failures. So I’m Not Mad. I am Motivated. I want to encourage my children, and any child, to look at their struggles as opportunities for solution. Above all, I want to inspire parents, teachers, and caregivers to model the Not Mad. Motivated. mindset to the children in their lives. We need to uplift our future leaders and accept that if they fail, it is because we failed them somewhere along the way.
Help us get the Not Mad. Motivated. message to communities across the country by purchasing a t-shirt or tote! We want to spread encouragement to people of all ages, but have a special interest in uplifting our young community. With this in mind, our youth size t-shirt will be sold at $10 each until we run out of our current inventory.
Are you are wondering how pizza, cars, and confederate flags go together? Read how these three thing aligned within my world one day in 2017.
On Thursday, October 5, 2017, I got a voicemail that I could not believe! The follow-up email stated:
You entered into our contest to win an all-new Toyota Camry last month and you have been chosen as a finalist! You are one of three finalists who have the opportunity to win the car. The final part of the contest will happen this Sunday, 10/8, at Charlotte Motor Speedway before the Bank of America race.
Digital Strategy for Papa John’s of the Carolinas
Can you imagine? I did enter the contest. I used promotional code PAPAWHEELS when I ordered a $9.99 Papa John’s pizza. That’s it! I had some doubts about the whole thing, but I was assured that someone would leave a winner. With a 1 out of 3 chance of winning, I could not resist confirming my intentions to make the two hour drive. My family was invited, and win or lose, it was a new experience for everyone.
Pre-race Show Excitement
We were up and out early Sunday morning in order to make it to the track by 9:45am. Our VIP treatment started with a golf cart meeting us in the parking lot and driving us to the infield. The Pre-race show was already going strong. Fans were everywhere! Giveaways, celebrity NASCAR guests, all going on as the Papa John’s team prepared the three finalist for the contest.
The time came for our part of the show. The hosts moved from the main stage to the stage featuring a 2018 Toyota Camry and started introducing the contest and the finalists. They called me Margaret Brown. My name is not Margaret Brown. I immediately wondered if that “slip up” was a reference to my Brown skin, but then my thoughts were right back to winning my car – I was claiming it!
The contest was simple. A trunk full of single pizza boxes with a few of them colored gold. The finalists takes turn finding a gold one until they find one with a code. The code in the box matches a code on a key. If your key starts the car, you win. And guess who won!
Pizza, Cars, and Confederate Flags
We had a great time at our first NASCAR events! After the rock climbing wall, bouncing obstacle course, and some lunch, we headed to the grandstand to watch some of the race. Like a bunch of amateurs, we sat in the first row as if they were the most sought after seats. But when those cars came around, we realized that they were NOT popular seats for a real good reason. I did learn something priceless though. My youngest son, who was diagnosed with Autism months earlier, seemed to be soothed by the noise or vibrations.
It was such a fun outing and an amazing experience. Although, all the confederate flags in the infield were very distracting to me.
Had I paid attention to NASCAR, and its history, these flags would have not caught me of guard. However, seeing the flags did trigger a subconscious knowledge of such relationship.
The confederate flag once was as much a part of the NASCAR landscape as the green, yellow and checkered.
Confederate emblems decorated race souvenir programs, and a man dressed as a rebel soldier was a regular in victory lane celebrations at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.
Formal NASCAR chairman, Brian France, eventually called for, but did not require, the removal of the “offensive symbol” in 2015. Some tracks even offering to exchange the controversial flag with an American flag. France, grandson of NASCAR co-founder Bill France Sr., later went on to endorse Trump in 2016, proclaiming:
If the people that like and watch NASCAR vote for Donald Trump, they can cancel the election right now. Nobody else can win. Nobody.
He also went on to plead guilty for DUI after an 2018 DUI and possession of Oxycodone (a controlled substance) arrest. Jim France, uncle to Brian France and son of Bill France Sr., is the new NASCAR Chairman and CEO. Will ideas about the confederate flag, and its role within NASCAR, change under his leadership? I don’t know, but I do know that Trump is the Grand Marshall of this week’s Dayton 500.
A Not Mad. Motivated. Point of View
There you have it! This is how pizza, cars and confederate flags have intersected in my life. Being called Margaret Brown in this environment was a bit frustrating. However, I used the car that I won to help start Not Mad. Motivated.!
Seeing those flags caused all sort of feelings, but outside of my own family’s enjoyment, I saw something else that made me extremely happy! Another Black family! What made this family special is not that they were Black; it is that they were being themselves.
It was before the race and a NASCAR driver was being driven through the crowd. The dad urged the son, who was dressed down in NASCAR appeal, to get an autograph. With the son’s hesitation, the dad grabbed the son’s hat, ran aside the golf cart next to the NASCAR driver, and got the autograph that he knew his son desired. The son displayed an undeniable reaction of a true fan!
Don’t get me wrong, I did not experience any hatred from any person that I interacted with that day. Everyone was actually very pleasant and welcoming. It was just those flags and beliefs that they symbolize to me and to many.
We have ‘symbols’ that can trigger the worst of our feelings and behaviors, but we win when we find the motivation to thrive beyond those negative feelings. We would love your help in spreading the Not Mad. Motivated. mindset! Let’s turn failures into fuel, obstacles into opportunities, and mistreatment into movements! Shop Not Mad. Motivated.
I starting working on my credit when I was in college. I was approved for a loan to purchase a house and I thought that my work paid off. When I bought my house 13 years ago, my excitement was sky high. That was before I realized how much interest I was expected to pay. That realization definitely diminished the moment some.
I still live in the house that I “bought” in 2007. After a few years of financial instability (mostly due to a toxic relationship), I pretty much owe the same amount on my home loan. This shocking reality is where my thoughts went after hearing about talks on Reparations for Slavery. My conclusion. . . let’s start talking about Reparations plus interest.
What is Reparation?
Reparation: the act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury.
Our history has many examples in which amends were attempted through reparations. The German government continues to pay reparations to Holocaust survivors and to the State of Israel. The United Kingdom paid over $25 million to over 5,000 Kenyan who suffered torture and abuse during the Mau Mau uprising “at the hands of the colonial administration” in the 1950s.
A Selection of U.S. Reparations
The U.S. did provided “reparations” to Native Americans as payment for seized land.
However, the actual funds only averaged out to about $1,000 per person of Native American ancestry, and most of the money was put in trust accounts held by the United States government, which has been accused of mismanagement over the years.
When the U.S. government overthrew the Kingdom of Hawai’i, Native Hawaiians where forced to live in crowded cities. Many Natives died from foreign diseases. As “reparations” for the land, people of at least one-half Hawaiian ancestry by blood could lease homesteads from the federal government for 99 years at a time for a total of $1.
Much of the land was remote and unfit for development, and it put people who married non-Native Hawaiians at risk of losing their land. Today, those problems persist.
After a lawsuit for being left untreated for syphilis while in a “treatment program”, victims of Tuskegee Experiment were awarded $10 million, healthcare and burial services. The state eventually awarded healthcare and other services to the men’s spouses and descendants, too.
Decades later, the experiment is correlated with increases in mistrust of the medical establishment, overall mortality and reluctance to see medical providers among black men, who face significant health disparities compared to their white counterparts in the United States.
Wide-spread land ownership for newly “freed” Blacks could had been a game-changer! These were incredibly skilled people. They were blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, weavers, cooks, caregivers, and more. Within this population was every talent needed to build up successful communities. Although such communities did emerge, it was at a much smaller scale than true reparations would have allowed.
Enslavement was devastating enough, but compounding it with systemic racism was and continues to be cruel. And that’s the reason for saying when we talk about reparations for slavery, we should be talking reparations plus interest! Land is great – I would love not to spend another $80-100K in interest for a house that is barely worth that amount. However, the very minimum should include free education and unlimited medical care of choice for the generational stress.
Do you think Reparations plus interest is a fair concept? If so, support Not Mad. Motivated. and let’s get the word out together.
We now have Reparations plus interest shirts and totes available!