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Chaos Everywhere!

by Wendy Gladney on 09/14/20

Now we have fires to deal with! Who would have ever thought we would experience so much chaos in one year? In January we learned about the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the rest of the passengers on the small private plane. Our hearts were full of sorrow in such disbelief. In February, we publicly experienced another Black man killed in cold blood by the name of Ahmaud Arbery. March was terrifying as we were officially introduced to COVID-19, the pandemic we all have been living with for months now, and an innocent woman by the name of Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own bed by police officers. 

Some of us thought that the month of April would bring hope, but people continued to die across the globe from the coronavirus. Financially many did not know how they were going to survive, and hope was failing.  On May 25th George Floyd was murdered in cold blood and people said enough is enough. We were beyond tired. The #BlackLivesMatter Movement with peaceful protests began jumping off, but there were some that showed up for other reasons causing chaos.  As we continue to struggle through the hot summer, our hearts were broken when Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian died, and our superhero, Chadwick Boseman, aka “T’Challa,” lost his heroic battle to cancer. To make things worse the political strife in our country is uglier than ever. Those of us in the West, are now fighting fires that are raging out of control and we pray for the safety of the firefighters as they push forward to extinguish and put them out. 

Chaos means complete disorder and confusion.  When chaos is present, oftentimes the behavior of people becomes unpredictable and sometimes random. We are all searching to find ways to return things back to the way they were or to what we call “normal.”  Newsflash: things will never be as they once were and in some cases that is not a bad thing. We need to relax, stay calm and help create what will be our new normal that is just and fair for everyone. Even when we cannot see it, good can come out of bad or chaos because it causes things to get stirred up and revealed.  The question is will we be part of the solution or exacerbate the problem? The choice is ours.  Let us figure out how we can live together, or we will perish.

We all have a moral compass.  We inheritably know right from wrong.  There are some basic life principles that are guiding factors on how we should live and treat others.  There are also situations that need to be challenged because they are based on privilege, history, and uneven playing fields. I recently read, when in doubt listen to your gut.  It is believed that our gut is our second brain.  I remember my grandmother sometimes asking, “What is your gut saying to you?” If we listen and pay attention to our bodies, they will talk to us.  The question is whether we are tuned in and paying attention to what it is saying to us.

There will be some things in this life that will be totally out of our control such as natural (and some man made) disasters, but there are some things that we just need to stand up and take control of such as racism, division, and the lack of respect towards one another.  Even when we disagree, we can do so respectfully.  When history is written about how things were handled during these unsettled times, what will be said about how we handled them? Tough times do not last, but tough people do. We can bring peace where there is chaos if we are willing to make tough choices and do what is right, equitable and just. #vote

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Ladies, Do You Know How to Navigate Perimenopause and Menopause?

by Wendy Gladney on 09/07/20

Navigating the topic of women’s health is a constant struggle.  For whatever reason we have a hard time talking about our anatomy and the changes our bodies go through each decade.  It starts during our teenage years (sometimes earlier!) when we begin our menstrual cycles. If our mother didn’t teach us about the birds and bees, then it was usually a friend who gave us our first lesson (and they probably didn’t know much either).  When we experience motherhood, for some reason, that becomes a little easier to talk about.  However, when it comes to the topic of menopause there seems to be complete silence. 

I remember when I went through menopause a few years ago. My mind, body and spirit went through so many changes I did not understand and I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling or going through. Menopause is when a year passes where we no longer have our periods. Our ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making estrogen. Menopause is a natural process that all women experience at one point or another during their lifetime. Studies have shown that women of color oftentimes experience more severe symptoms for various health and environmental reasons. What I have learned is that we do not have to suffer in silence.  There is information available to us that can help us navigate the perimenopause and menopause stages much easier.

Although most women will experience symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, increased weight, a decrease in their libido, and others, there are things we can do to improve our health and the process.  Taking responsibility for our own health should be our number one priority.  We must be willing to take the time to get to know our bodies and listen to what they’re saying to us.  Our bodies will speak to us if we listen.  Secondly, we need to make sure our doctor understands us and how our bodies change.  If our doctor cannot provide us with the proper help and support, it may be time to get a new physician.  Third, take care of yourself.  It is critical that we eat right, get our rest and make exercise a priority.  The sooner we get started on this track the better.

We are beginning to live longer, and we want to live healthy productive lives.  On my next birthday I will be 60 and I want to thrive. My friends also want to live their best lives. I recently learned about an organization called WisePause that is committed to helping women navigate through perimenopause and menopause.  This Saturday, September 12th, WISEPAUSE LIFESTYLE will present a free virtual experience that will feature respected experts, healthcare practitioners, nutritionists, fitness trainers and more to help us thrive beyond our wildest expectations. As women, we need to normalize these conversations with our daughters, sisters and friends. And it is also important for men to understand how to be sensitive to their partners or spouses as well.

Some refer to menopause as the “change of life” or “orchids.”  An orchid is a flowering plant and when it blooms it is often colorful and fragrant.  There is no reason why our best years cannot be in front of us, but we cannot leave it up to chance.  It is important for us to arm ourselves with the right information so we can bloom, be colorful and fragrant.  Do it for your sisters, do it for your daughters, do it for yourself.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

We Have Only Just Begun!

by Wendy Gladney on 09/01/20

The Democratic and Republican Conventions have always been a sight to behold. Most of us wait in anticipation over all the fanfare and excitement that happens when they occur.  Every four years, leaders and party supporters come together to rally around their chosen candidate and to help the voters get to know a little more about the candidates and their families. The pandemic has made all of us adjust to a new way of doing things and this even includes political conventions.  Everything has gone virtual.   Or at least we are told that is how things should be; but there will always be those that do not follow the rules.

Now that the conventions have come and gone the real work has just begun.  We must all chip in and do our part and vote.  We must also make sure everyone we know registers and votes.  Shortly before Congressman John Lewis died, he wrote an essay in which he shared that together we can redeem the soul of our nation.  He urged each of us to answer the highest calling of our hearts and stand up for what we truly believe.   Now is that time.  We must all be willing to make sacrifices now more than ever for the betterment of our country and families.  This includes being a patriot in the real essence of its meaning.  A patriot is a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors; foreign or domestic.  Just like our flag, being a patriot does not belong to a specific party, but rather to all Americans. We must stand up for issues that affect us all and not just for the privileged.  

No matter which party with whom you may be registered, right now it is important for all of us to stand on the side of justice.  Eventually the arc of justice always bends towards what is right.  Will you be standing on the side that promotes justice and equality for everyone?  I am not of the belief that a group of people should all be registered with one specific party.  I feel it is necessary that we have representatives with a voice across both sides of the aisle.  Right now, we should be more concerned with what is right for the future of our country more so than being wrapped up in political differences and stand up for what is right for the sake of humanity and justice.

As you ponder how you will make your voice be heard this political season, my choice is with Joe and my sorority sister Kamala Harris!  Each of us must travel our own road.  We must do what we know is right in our own heart.  Right now is not the time for any of us to sit on the sidelines.  Get up and get in the race. Get involved as if your future depends on it because it does; and it is also true for future generations.  Although I am a Democrat, I am not against Republicans. I believe there is good and bad in both parties.  As I stated I believe there needs to be representation across the board. As a matter of fact, I have several people in my family that are Republicans and we have lively conversations.  However, I do believe that the current President, although he may be a Republican, has created his own party (“Trumpism”) and that I cannot stand with or for. So, let us all make up our minds to get into some good trouble and make sure we all vote. Build back better sounds pretty good to me! What say ye?

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Do You Need a Hug?

by Wendy Gladney on 08/24/20

Everyone could use a hug from time to time.  Physical contact is good for the soul and can often heal where medicine fails. Hugging someone or providing a tender touch can be both spiritual and medicinal. COVID-19 has taken that gift away from us.  We are living in days where physical touch with someone outside of the people we live with is discouraged. However, there are new ways to hug people and help fulfill a need and possibly heal hurts.  With food disparities and struggling restaurants doing their best to keep their doors open, there is a group that has started the “Food Hug” Program in Pasadena to recognize frontline heroes with a comforting meal by supporting minority-owned restaurants.

In a recent conversation, Lilly Rocha, from the Latino Restaurant Association (LRA) was excited to share with me about the launch of the Food Hug Program in Pasadena.  The goal is to buy meals for personnel in healthcare, grocery stores, senior living/nursing homes, utility workers, as well as first responders and frontline workers to show their appreciation for their sacrifice, as well as to support local minority owned restaurants. The Food Hug Program not only shows support, but also helps to keep small businesses open and boost the local economy.  It also provides exposure for small black and brown restaurants in the Pasadena area that could easily go unnoticed during these difficult days.  The LRA Food Hug initiative hopes to keep up this good work until the end of the year. To learn more about their work you can visit https://latinorestaurantassociation.org/pfh

The Latino Restaurant Association is not the only organization trying to make a difference with keeping restaurants alive and thriving.  SoCalGas recently launched a restaurant recovery program where they are donating $75,000 to Black-Owned Restaurants in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. These efforts are all in response to helping restaurants that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trisha Muse, Director of Community Relations at SoCalGas says that it is critical to support Black-owned restaurants that are struggling during this time. To learn more visit www.socalgas.com/coronavirus. Public and private entities are coming together to do what they can to make a difference and we can help. 

Hunger has been with us since the beginning of time. Food has always been a way to make peace and as I shared in the beginning, it can provide healing.  When people come together to break bread understandings grow and barriers begin to fall. Food also transcends cultural barriers and brings unity to communities.  We have so much negativity around us right now with the pandemic, civil unrest, and political chaos we could all use a little hug.   One thing we can control is helping each other to the best of our ability and help provide those in need with nourishing food.   

Mahatma Gandhi said, “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”   We are that bread.  We must all do what we can to help provide food to those in need and to those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us each and every day.  Food is one of the basics of life which no one should be denied.  Let us come together to help be part of the solution and give someone a hug, through food.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Why Do Women Who Make Great Decisions in the Boardroom Sometimes Struggle Making Good Decsions in the Bedroom?

by Wendy Gladney on 08/17/20

Have you ever known a woman that seems to have it all together? She has a great career, takes care of herself, is committed to her family and community; but she struggles in connecting with the right life partner?  I do!  As a matter of fact, I was one of those women.  I even have amazing friends that when I look at their lives, they are what I consider a “prize,” but they struggle when it comes to making wise decisions on selecting the right person as a serious companion.  Why does this happen?

Let me pause. I am not saying a person must have a partner to be happy.  Happiness starts with loving ourselves first.   I am also not saying that you have to compromise your values to be with someone.  What I am saying is that oftentimes we do not give enough thought about the choices we make when it comes to who we date and allow into our lives. I know that I have personally been guilty of this.  I have cared more about making the other person happy, even at the sacrifice or expense of being personally fulfilled.  To make wise decisions we must be clear about our expectations. Do you even know what you would be willing to comprise on for the relationship?  What is non-negotiable? This is critical to know.

If we want to make good decisions in our personal relationships, we must understand ourselves.  I believe women are more comfortable being straightforward and clear when it comes to their work life than they are in their love life.  We do not want to hurt other people’s feelings.  Sometimes we may even fear that if we speak up, they will leave.  Guess what, if you speaking your truth makes someone leave then it is better to find out sooner than later.  How would you handle this situation if it were work related?

My husband wrote a book a few years back called, “The Right Man Business Plan for Women:  A business approach to relationships for successful, single women!”  I read the book and realized that he made some good points (I should have read it sooner).  In the book he shares nuggets that can really help one from making serious mistakes.  One of the things he talks about is the importance of us doing our due diligence.  Do we really take the time to check a person out and understand that “dating” is not the same as being in a “relationship?”  The dating season is when we should really check a person out to see if they are the one that we want to spend more time with and graduate to a relationship. 

I do believe there are some things that will only be revealed over time. But there are some things that if we really stop and ask the right questions (just like we would at work); watch what they do more than what they say (performance); and critically review without being critical, there are a lot of mistakes that we could avoid.  Sometimes we fear being alone and we let feelings and emotions rule where sound judgment should take over.  I recently read that, “good decisions come from experience, and you can only get experience from making some bad decisions.”

If you have not been so lucky with love, do not make a permanent decision on a temporary feeling or emotion.  Learn from your past mistakes, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. You got this! #choices #decisions #wisdom

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.