Wendy's Window
Wendy's Window
Monthly Newsletter Archive

2011
December 2011 - Merry Christmas
October 2011 - Swift Transitions
July 2011 - Settle in to Summer
April 2011 - Let's Spring Forward
February 2011 - 2011 is Off to a Great Start!
January 2011 - Happy New Year from Wendy Gladney

2010
December 2010 - Season's Greetings
November 2010 - Daylight Savings Time
September 2010 - Celebrating Life & Another Year
August 2010 - Over The Summer

Tell a friend about this page
Join Our Mailing List
Email:
For Email Marketing you can trust
Stay in touch with us by signing up to receive our monthly newsletter and special announcements.

The Land of Israel is More Than Just a Place

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/23/15

As promised, I want to share pieces about my experience from my wonderful excursion to Israel and the Holy Land.  According to Chabad.org for a Jew, the land of Israel is more than a place, it is a body for the soul of a people. Israel is a place to find where the Jewish people began, where they belong and who they truly are. During our visit we heard over and over that Jewish people do not travel to Israel, they return to Israel.  As a Christian, I too felt I returned to the place where my history began as a Christian.  Experiencing the heart of Israel reminded me of how I felt when I traveled to South Africa last year and walked around the Motherland.

My colleagues, Alex De Ocampo, Sheri Dunn Berry, Julio Marcial, Carol Miyake, Ama Nyamekye, Amanda Pilsner, Dr. DArtagnan Scorza, Gregory C. Scott, Joann Sullivan, John Ho Song, and Anne Tremblay, are all grateful to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles under the leadership of Catherine Schneider, Daniel Gold, and Aubrey Farkas for a trip of a lifetime.  What we learned will have an effect on our personal and professional lives for years to come.  We will never be the same. 

It is very difficult to sum up everything we experienced in such a short amount of space.  Therefore, I will probably do a couple of different theme oriented articles, but for this week I want to give a brief overview.  The theme and focus of the trip was to not only learn and experience the State and people of Israel, but to also discuss the topics of Trauma and Resilience.  We learned and realized the Jewish people feel they have lived in a perpetual state of trauma for over 3,000 years and yet they have a strong level of resiliency.  Again, as an African American, I also have to look at how our community has experienced various levels of trauma even to this day and yet have survived due to our resiliency. 

Throughout our entire trip we visited both historical Jewish and Christian sites.  It was absolutely mind blowing and it was as if I was walking through the bible in person and it took my breath away.  Our tour guide, Lyana Rotstein, was beyond knowledgeable, she knew Jewish and Christian history better than a college professor.  For example, on our first night at dinner she shared the area below where we were standing was known as the Shadow of the Valley of Death.  When I read Psalm 23:4, I thought it was a metaphor.  She knew the meaning and its origin. It made me realize I have some studying to do.  

 Whether we visited the Old City of Jerusalem, Via Dolorosa, the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall, the Garden of Gethsemane, Yad Vashem, Masada, Tel Aviv, the Old City of Jaffa or hearing from an Ethiopian Jew who traveled across the desert with his family from Ethiopia to Jerusalem, or experiencing for the first time a Shabbat Dinner, what stays in my heart and mind is how the Jewish community know and share their narrative.  It made me think do I know my narrative to make sure I can share it with my children and my childrens children. It is important that we all write, know and embrace our own narrative.  More to come.

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

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Love Comes With A Cost

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/19/15

For those of you that follow me through my column and various social media outlets, you know I just returned from a heart touching and life changing pilgrimage to Israel and the Holy Land.  I planned to write more about it this week, but as I searched my heart, I had to pause to express my love and appreciation to my husband as we celebrate our second year wedding anniversary.  I will return back to my Israel expeditions next week.

 

When I write I strive to be transparent.  Marriage is an area I have had my share of challenges.  As a mother, daughter, sister and friend, I have done a pretty good job, but when it comes to being married, I am learning lessons now that I did not understand before.  As a child I experienced my father in and out of relationships and marriages. My birth mother was not in my life and I did not see examples of married people staying committed and in love.  I believe my grandparents loved each other, but my grandfather passed away before I was born and my grandmother never remarried.

 

Years ago I learned there are five main reasons that tend to cause a breakup in a marriage.  Faith, Finances, Family, Sex or Communication.  Research shows that even when people say they are getting a divorce due to irreconcilable differences, it usually goes back to one or more of the five items listed.  I would have to agree, but what happens that causes people to get to that point.  Overall we spend a lot of time, energy and money on improving our careers and professional lives, why do we ignore or deny putting in the time and effort into our marriages that will effect generations to come?

 

I know there are people that stay together because of money or children, but where did the love go?  Family and finances are legitimate reasons to stay together, but they should not be the glue for a husband and wife.  I believe that when you have a strong faith and love for one another it can help with the challenges life can throw your way.  If couples would wake up each day with a made up mind to honor, love and cherish each other a bond forms that is unbreakable.  A little kindness on a regular basis can go a long way. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years and when you look up, you’ve spent a lifetime together.  It is a choice.

 

As I continue on this path of marriage, I am learning it is important to make each other a priority, spend time together, talk, pray, laugh and enjoy the small things that life brings.  Make memories together, document them through photos, journals, and even scrap books so when trials or dark days come, you have something to look back on together and smile.  Whatever you may be going through will pass.  It is not enough to just do the right things society says you should do, you have to do the right things that work for the two of you. 

 

I am truly grateful that God gave me another chance to love.  I appreciate my husband for loving me unconditionally and sharing his beautiful smile and singing a song just for me.  We are in this love together.  Happy Anniversary my love! #Loveisabeautifulthing

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

"Mothers Are Weeping Everywhere"

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/01/15

As far back as one can remember mothers have wept for their children.  There is an old saying that parents should not bury their children and we believe it is not the natural order of things. The crisis we are in today across this country we call, Land of The Free Home of The Brave, is not so free even for those that are brave.

 

I am tired of hearing about another young black man being killed, especially by people who are supposed to uphold the law and protect society.  We are all familiar with what has happened in Oakland, Ferguson, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and now Baltimore, but what about all of the incidents we never hear about because they are never brought to the surface.  Out of curiosity, I googled to see what some of the statistics might be in regards to this catastrophe.  According to an article published on AlterNet by Adam Hudson, 1 Black Man is killed every 28 hours by police or vigilantes.  This includes security officers, police officers and other law enforcement officials. In 2015 why and how is this even acceptable?

 

Harry S. Truman said, It’s a recession when an issue hits your neighbor, it’s a depression when it hits you.   I believe as a country we are in a depression. When we do not value the lives of other human beings and what they mean to our families and to society something is seriously wrong.  When buildings are destroyed or burnt down out of frustration, they can be rebuilt, but when a life is taken we can never get them back. This is not just a black thing people this is a human thing.

 

Let me clarify something before I go any further, I am definitely not condoning any rioting or behaviors that set out to destroy public and private property, but what I am trying to bring to the surface is when these acts occur they are more of an outcry or symptom of a deeper problem.  Violence oftentimes begets violence, but we also know that violence in itself does not fix problems.  How do we stop the violence and stop these unnecessary killings?  Law enforcement and those in control need to be held accountable.  Killing people is not the answer.

 

Mothers and fathers everywhere should not have to teach their children, to live their lives in fear or trepidation.  As a mother of two sons and four grandsons, I want them to be able to walk or drive down the street without worrying if they will make it home safe and in one piece.  I also believe we have to teach our children to carryout life in a responsible way and to realize every action causes a reaction.  The sad part is even when we teach our sons to be proper young men, to go to school, and to be respectful towards their elders and those in authority, there is no guarantee they will be safe. We say no more.

 

We have to look at the systemic problems that go deeper to why there is so much civil unrest.   My grandmother would say work as if it all depends on you and pray as if it all depends on God.  We need both! 

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

A Pilgrimage to Israel

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 04/26/15

My work centers around helping people and sharing how they can learn to forgive with the hope of experiencing a better and happier life.  In the quest to fulfill this calling, I open myself to every opportunity that allows me to get to know people better, travel to various parts of the world and experience different cultures and societies.  It has been my experience that oftentimes conflict and misunderstandings are due to the lack of knowledge and exposure to situations or historical context.  As a Coach and Consultant, I have learned that hurt people hurt people.  How do we help people heal so they can stop hurting others?  How do we get to the root so we can plant new seeds that will bring forth forgiveness and healing?

 

Over the years I have had the opportunity and pleasure of traveling to various points of destination domestically as well as to foreign lands.  I am a strong advocate that we can learn from reading and talking to others, but nothing takes the place of personal experience.  A little over a year ago, I had the opportunity to travel to South Africa.  Many consider Africa as the Cradle of Humankind and the link to the Black Diaspora of the world. As a woman of African American heritage, my soul cried out as I talked to the people, visited historical sites and walked through the home of Nelson Mandela.  I will never be the same. My eyes are open and I see the world with a new vision.

 

Another place on my bucket list to visit is Israel and the Holy Land.  What I find fascinating is when you are committed to your purpose in life and you put out into the universe the desires of your heart doors open that you could never imagine.  I want to thank Vincent Jones for recommending me as a delegate for the Community Leadership Study Trip to Israel with the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.  Twelve individuals from across the Greater Los Angeles area were selected to explore modern-day Israel and learn about its history, culture, political life and ingenuity.  We will be traveling with Catherine Schneider, Senior Vice President of Community Engagement for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. The goal is to learn from one another, to explore the subject of Trauma, and to create mutual beneficial partnerships. 

 

As I have gone through the past couple of months preparing for the trip and becoming familiar with the mission of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, I am moved by their oneness and their commitment to preserving the continuity of the Jewish people, their support of a secure State of Israel, the care for Jews in need everywhere and to mobilize on issues that concern their community.  I think everyone could learn from this model. 

 

As a Christian traveling to the Holy Land, I am grateful that we will not only explore current concerns such as the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, visit the Resiliency Center with the Israeli Trauma Coalition, visit National Sites and Museums, but we will also experience the Dead Sea, the Old City of Jerusalem, and other sites of interest where Jesus walked or lived.  In the weeks to come, I will share more about my journey and the impact it has on my work when I return.  Making a difference one person at a time. 

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Let's Take The Veil Off Sexual Assault & Sexual Abuse

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 04/20/15

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and all of us have a responsibility to do our part to bring this problem to light.  We must put the issue on the table for what it is.  Research shows that one out of five women and one out of fifty nine men will experience sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime.  What’s interesting is the numbers are actually higher because there are people that never report being violated due to shame, embarrassment or humiliation. 

 

Sexual violence affects all of society not just the victim.  It crosses gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, socio-economics and ethnicities.  It is a major public health issue as well as a violation of human rights and social justice.  This crime is happening at an alarming rate across the globe.  There are actual societies where women and girls have no rights when it comes to their body and wellbeing.  They are being abducted, transported and even sold into sex and human trafficking. 

 

When someone experiences sexual assault, abuse or violence it can have long term ramifications such as chronic pain, mental health problems, headaches, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, suicidal thoughts and even fear of trusting others.  All of these consequences affect society and those that interact with the victims.  The question becomes how do we help bring about change and end this horrific crime.  We must help people go from victim to victorious. We must do our part to help eradicate the problem from even happening. 

 

I believe that one of the first things we can do is to let our voices be heard.  If we have experienced any level of sexual abuse or even any overtones on the subject we need to step up and report it and take all of the necessary steps to end it and hold the victimizer accountable.  Secondly, we need to make sure we do not hold the crime against the victim and make them feel bad, but yet provide safe environments for their healing.  School campuses need to be safer with safe places for help.  Families need to listen when someone comes to share when they have been violated.  We need to have an open ear.  We need to care.

 

I experienced sexual abuse as a youth and I decided to let my voice be heard to help those who suffer in silence.  All of us at Forgiving For Living stand with those that have experienced any level of this type of violation.  We must ban together and support organizations that are making a difference such as Jenesse Center, The House of Ruth, Sexual Abuse Centers and hotlines. 

 

The organization Women Thrive Worldwide (www.womenthrive.org) works for transformational change to reduce, prevent, and address domestic violence, rape, bride burnings, dowry deaths and other kinds of violence and abuse against women and girls.  We can change the status quo and create a world where domestic violence, rape, and other forms of violence against women become a thing of the past.  It starts with us.

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am.