Soulful Voices











{March 7, 2007}   Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Written by Maya Angelou

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{March 3, 2007}   The Great Challenge of Life

Here’s the great challenge of life – You can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are.
 
I have found that income seldom will exceed your own personal development. Once in a while income takes a lucky jump, but unless you grow out to where it is it will go back to where you are.

Somebody once said if you took all the money in the world and divided it among everyone equally, it would soon be back in the same pockets. However, you can have more because you can become more.

You see, here is how the other side of the coin reads – unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got. The marketing plan won’t do it. It’s a good plan but it won’t work without you. You’ve got to work it. It is the human effort that counts. If you could send a sales manual out to recruit – wouldn’t that be lovely? The major thing that makes the difference is what YOU do.
 
In order to have more, you need to become more. The guy says “If I had a good job I would really pour it on, but I have this lousy job so I just goof off.” If that is your philosophy you are destined to stay there. Some people say if I had a lot of money I would be really generous, but I don’t have much so I’m not generous.

See, you’ve got to change that philosophy or you will never have “the lots of money”. Unless YOU change, IT won’t change. Amazingly, however, when we throw out our blame list and start becoming more ourselves – the difference is everything else will begin to change around us.
 
Written by J. Rohn



{February 16, 2007}   The Rain

rainbow.jpg

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of  town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick. Suddenly, my daughter, Glorie, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat.

“Dad, I’m thinking of something.”

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, And was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered.

I was eager to hear.
“What are you thinking?” I asked.
“The rain!” she began, “is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away.”

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond.

 “That’s really good, Glorie.”

Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take thisrevelation?

So I asked… “Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?”
Glorie didn’t hesitate one moment with her answer: “We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us.”

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on: In order to see the Rainbow, you must first endure some Rain.



{February 15, 2007}   Truth About Life

happiiness.jpg

I’ll be happy when…
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation or when we retire. The truth is there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.

It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with … and remember that time waits for no one.
So, stop waiting …
Until your car or home is paid off.
Until you get a new car or home.
Until your kids leave the house.
Until you go back to school.
Until you finish school.
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married.
Until you get a divorce.
Until you have kids.
Until you retire.
Until summer..
Until spring.
Until winter.
Until fall.
Until you die.

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and, dance like no one’s watching.



{February 10, 2007}   What it Means to be Poor

field.jpgOne day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Oh Yeah” said the son. “So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective.

Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have, instead of worrying about wanting more. Take joy in all you have, especially your friends.



The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. (You know, the one with Charlie Brown and Snoopy)

You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. S ee how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson:  The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones ith the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Just think about the people who have made a difference in your life, and take the time to let them know you appreciate them.

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”  (Charles Schultz)



{February 2, 2007}   Do You Feel There is No Hope

handofgod1.jpg 

In your times of deep despair,
Do you feel there is no hope?
As the darkness closes in on you,
Do you feel you cannot cope?

As you struggle on through every trial,
Do you say “When will it end”?
As you cry yourself to sleep at night,
Do you wish you had a friend?

When your body’s racked with aches and pains,
Do you feel you are alone?
When you think about the future,
Do you fear the great unknown?

There is someone who really cares,
And He hears your every cry.
His arms are reaching out to you,
And on Him you can rely.

When things close in around you,
He sees your fear and doubt –
He wants to hold you in His arms,
And He will never cast you out.

As you stumble through the darkness,
He will be your guiding light.
He wants to wipe away your tears,
For you are precious in His sight.

Reach out right now to Jesus,
And let Him take complete control –
He’ll take that heavy burden,
And He’ll touch and make you whole.

He’s reaching out His arms to you,
And He wants to be your friend.
Let Him take you in His loving arms,
For His love will never end.
-Author: Unknown-



{February 1, 2007}   Thoughts for the OverWorked

O, bakit ka na naman na-i-istress? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Meron ka bang deadline na i-bi-beat ngayong araw na ito?
It’s important to understand stress before we can effectively manage it kaya Stress ang pag-usapan natin ngayon.
Ayon sa mga scientists mayroong dalawang uri ng stress.
 
Eustress and Distress.
Eustress is positive stress. Ito ang nararamdaman ng isang dalaga kapag dumarating na ang kanyang manliligaw at may daladalang flowers. Eustress din ang tawag sa stress na nararanasan ng mga nagwo- work-out when they are doing their exercises.
Ang mga athletes, pagkatapos na ma-stress ang kanilang muscles, they rest para ma-repair ang kanilang muscles. Kapag hindi sila nagpahinga, the stressed muscles will be injured.
When injury happens, yan ang distress.
 
Distress is the negative side of stress. Nakakaramdam ka na ng sakit ng ulo, pagsakit ng tiyan, hindi na makatulog, di pa makakain. Distress ang uri ng stress na nagreresulta sa kung ano-anong sakit tulad ng hypertension, minsan nga ay emotional breakdown pa. Ano ba ang pwede nating gawin para ang stress natin ay hindi maging distress? Famous author and inspirational speaker,
Dr. John Maxwell has the following suggestions:
 
Don’t be overly sensitive to criticism.
Tanggapin na natin ang katotohanang hindi natin kayang i-please ang lahat ng tao.
Talagang mayroong hindi aayon sa iyo kahit na napaka-noble ng iyong mga intentions and motives. So when you receive criticisms, take it constructively kung sensible ang criticism.
If  you think the criticism is not objective, huwag na lang pansinin at ng hindi ka ma-distress.
Don’t take too much pride in your achievements.
Ang pride ay parang uling, ginagatungan niyan ang distress.
Ang taong proud ay mas lalong nadi-distress dahil masyado niyang iniingatan
ang kanyang achievement at accomplishment.
Minsan nga our achievements hinder us from growing and learning
kasi sinasabi natin sa ating sarili, aba may na-accomplish na ko.
Mas mahusay ako kaysa sa iba, hindi na nila ko pwedeng turuan.
Ang lungkot ng buhay kapag naging ganyan ang attitude natin.
 
Don’t harbor jealousy over the achievement of others.
Ang taong mainggitin madalas ding madistress, kasi nga  totoo namang mayroong mas higit kaysa sa atin. Natural ang iba ay maaaring magkaroon ng achievements na wala tayo di ba.
Instead of being jealous or envious, let’s learn to rejoice in the successes of others.
Malay mo malibre ka pa bogchi dahil nakikigalak ka sa kanilang tagumpay, di ba?
 
Don’t focus on your weaknesses and inadequacies.
Ang sugat kapag mas lalo mong ginalaw mas lalong lalala at baka maimpeksyon.
The more you focus on your weaknesses and inadequacies the bigger the tendency of wallowing in self-pity. While it is importan t to acknowledge your inadequacies,
it is helpful to  focus on your strengths and capabilities.
 
One effective way of fighting distress is by counting our blessings – the good things which life brings. When we have grateful hearts, we will always be reminded that we are too blessed to be stressed!
 
Someone wrote that “The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.”



1. Never apologize for pursuing what makes you happy. Even if you need to quit your job, transfer schools, or move across country, always do what you really want.

2. Never apologize for using proper English. Keeping it real doesn’t mean speaking Ebonics.

3. Never apologize for giving your best in a relationship that just didn’t work out.

4. Never apologize for being successful. Only haters want to keep you at their level.

5. Never apologize for crying. Wear waterproof mascara and express yourself.

6. Never apologize for ten pounds you need to lose. People who truly care about you will accept you as you are.

7. Never apologize for being frugal. Just because you save your money instead of blowing it on the latest fashion emergency doesn’t me! an you’re cheap.

8. Don’t apologize for being a single mom. Babies are a blessing.

9. Never apologize for treating yourself to something special. Sometimes you have to show yourself some appreciation.

10. Never apologize for leaving an abusive relationship. Your safety should always be a priority.

11. Never apologize for keeping the ring even if wedding bells won’t chime.

12. Never apologize for setting high standards in a relationship. You know what you can tolerate and what simply gets on your nerves.

13. Never apologize for saying NO.

14. Never apologize for asking for what you want in bed. If you don’t, then who will?

15. Never apologize for wearing a weave. You bought it so it’s yours.

16. Never apologize to your new friends about old friends. There’s a reason she’s been your girl from day one.

17. Never apologize for ordering dessert. Or more than one dessert.

18. Never apologize fo! r dating outside your race. Just because you found Mr. Right across the color line doesn’t mean you don’t love your brothas.

19. Never apologize for not knowing how to cook. Even if you can’t burn like Grandma you know how to order good take out.

20. Never apologize for your taste in clothes. It’s your style.

21. Never apologize for changing your mind.

22. Never apologize for exercising your right to choose. It’s your body and your right.

23. Never apologize for making more money than your man, you work hard and you deserve to get paid.

25. Never apologize for being you! “KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD”



{January 1, 2007}   20 Tips for a Powerful New Year

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. Buy a TIVO, tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is to___________ today.
5. Live with the 3 E’s. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
6. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2006.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.
11. Drink green tea & plenty of water and eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
12. Try to make at least 3 people smile each day.
13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished____________.
19. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
20. Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Energy Tips by Jon Gordon, The Energy Addict. For additional tips, visit www.energyaddict.com — Jon is also the author of “Becoming An Energy Addict”.



et cetera