An Audience of One

20150812205130-microphone-public-speaking-mediaIt was about four years ago when I joined Toastmasters International or TI. For those who are not familiar with TI, it is a nonprofit, educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. The initial reason I joined was to become a better sales person because I talked too much.  I could not close the sale.

Over the years, my reason for staying in the club changed. The last reason I renewed my membership was in order to become a paid public speaker. It didn’t quite workout as I planned but I did learn one thing.  I had the courage to get up and give speeches at club meetings and compete in local area contests which were all positives. However, no matter the size of the audiences I would speak in front of, the biggest critic in the room, was always myself until I focused on simply doing my best. The one person you most often have to please, is the one that lives within. As the famous African Proverb says:

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.


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Holding On

dreamstime_s_53141518I have an elderly neighbor who holds onto everything.  She gives me things that are more than thirty years old sometimes. I appreciate the gifts but I wonder why is she holding on to the stuff or better yet what does she plan to do with it once she passes. It may sound like a morbid thought but it always brings me back to the decisions I make for me and my family.  I want to leave my family with more than just debt!  I realize it is the memories that last.  We are all passing through this time and space, if we chose to let go of things, we could begin to hold on to love.

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The Magic Wand

magic-wand-1My granddaughter loves picking up long sticks and playing with them when she is outside. I used to take them away from her because I was afraid of her hurting herself. Now a days, I let her pick them up and watch her closely as she swings the sticks around like magic wands. I want her to always know that she has the right to create the life of her choosing. The magic is within each and everyone of us.
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Ride the Waves

1Life is about balance. As with any up there is a surely a down or vice versa. Without the rainy days we wouldn’t enjoy the sunny ones. These ups and downs are the waves that either bring or take away things for our good, even if we don’t realize it. Like our breath, the up and downs simply means life.

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Facing Reality

Reflections-1With every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. In many instances, so many of us can find fault in the behavior of others but rarely take a moment to ask ourselves “how did my behavior contribute to this?” It was a hard reality for me to face and I didn’t always like the reflection that I got back but I was able to see things in me that I could work on. Change begins from within and we all have the same opportunity to be the change we wish to see.

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Warning Signals

warning-lights4I am an avid walker but I have learned to pay attention to my body’s warning indicator signals like sore knees or pinched nerves. As much as I don’t like to stop walking, I know it’s my body’s way of letting me know I need to slow down. This is the only body I have, and as with anything, to keep it working and functioning the way it needs to, it requires self-care. Take time to relax, renew and refresh yourself, you are worth it.

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Tough Enough

mental-toughnessEveryone will have an opinion of what you should do or what you should not do. When we try to please others the one person who gets hurt in the end is you. The biggest challenge is to keep going in the times of adversity. In times of strife, remember “tough times don’t last, tough people do.” It is all about developing your mental toughness.

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