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Not Until...

by Wendy Gladney on 01/04/21

I recently read about another African American man by the name of Andre Hill that was killed by a white police officer in Ohio. The officer mistakenly thought a cell phone Mr. Hill had in his hand was a gun. I also just read that since the death of George Floyd there have been at least 76 Black people killed by white police officers. A friend of mine who works in Diversity and Inclusion told me that so much of what developed out of the backlash of George Floyd’s death that exposed racial profiling and systemic racism has started to putter out. We must keep this conversation alive. Have you ever wondered when something is going to stop? The answer to this question is not until we get sick and tired of the way things are and we are personally ready to do something about it. I believe in supporting police officers, but we must hold them accountable for the actions they take and to make sure they care about all lives equally.

There are many things in this world that would make us think we do not have the power to influence or change what is happening, but that is not true. We all have the power to make our voices heard, but some do not feel the heat until they have been personally touched by the fire. Over the holiday I decided to watch a few movies that I never had the time to watch and one of the movies I saw was, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” What touched me about this film was the innocence of children that are unaware of what is really happening in their environment and although they are from different worlds, they develop a friendship. One boy was German, and the other was Jewish trapped in a concentration camp. The German boy eventually dies in the gas chamber when he goes on the other side of the fence to help his friend find his father. His innocence cost him his life. Ignorance can cost us our lives or livelihood if we are not careful. The environment around them was deceiving. Our environment can also be deceiving.

How many times have we buried our heads in the sand thinking that what is happening all around us does not pertain to us? Not until we learn and realize the ramifications of how what happens to others will eventually touch our lives too do we actually step up and do what we can to help change what is wrong and make it right. I believe 2021 is going to challenge each of us to make a difference. I think we still have some challenging days ahead of us and what we do today will play a strong role in what the future will look like. It is my desire to help leave this world in a better place for my grandchildren and future generations. I believe, for the most part, most people feel the same as I do, but we must do more than just think about it, we must be about it.

Part of my heritage is German. My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were Lutheran pastors. When I read the poem, “First They Came,” by German Lutheran Pastor, Martin Niemoller, I was deeply touched. The poem is about the cowardice of German intellectuals regarding what happened to the Jewish people. The piece talks about how when they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist; when they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew; then when they came for me there was no one left to speak for me. We need to care about each other and not be cowardly about what is happening in our world today. If we do not step up there will be no one to come for us.

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

Visit www.WendyGladney.com to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. She can be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Not Until...

by Wendy Gladney on 01/04/21

I recently read about another African American man by the name of Andre Hill that was killed by a white police officer in Ohio. The officer mistakenly thought a cell phone Mr. Hill had in his hand was a gun. I also just read that since the death of George Floyd there have been at least 76 Black people killed by white police officers. A friend of mine who works in Diversity and Inclusion told me that so much of what developed out of the backlash of George Floyd’s death that exposed racial profiling and systemic racism has started to putter out. We must keep this conversation alive. Have you ever wondered when something is going to stop? The answer to this question is not until we get sick and tired of the way things are and we are personally ready to do something about it. I believe in supporting police officers, but we must hold them accountable for the actions they take and to make sure they care about all lives equally.

There are many things in this world that would make us think we do not have the power to influence or change what is happening, but that is not true. We all have the power to make our voices heard, but some do not feel the heat until they have been personally touched by the fire. Over the holiday I decided to watch a few movies that I never had the time to watch and one of the movies I saw was, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” What touched me about this film was the innocence of children that are unaware of what is really happening in their environment and although they are from different worlds, they develop a friendship. One boy was German, and the other was Jewish trapped in a concentration camp. The German boy eventually dies in the gas chamber when he goes on the other side of the fence to help his friend find his father. His innocence cost him his life. Ignorance can cost us our lives or livelihood if we are not careful. The environment around them was deceiving. Our environment can also be deceiving.

How many times have we buried our heads in the sand thinking that what is happening all around us does not pertain to us? Not until we learn and realize the ramifications of how what happens to others will eventually touch our lives too do we actually step up and do what we can to help change what is wrong and make it right. I believe 2021 is going to challenge each of us to make a difference. I think we still have some challenging days ahead of us and what we do today will play a strong role in what the future will look like. It is my desire to help leave this world in a better place for my grandchildren and future generations. I believe, for the most part, most people feel the same as I do, but we must do more than just think about it, we must be about it.

Part of my heritage is German. My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were Lutheran pastors. When I read the poem, “First They Came,” by German Lutheran Pastor, Martin Niemoller, I was deeply touched. The poem is about the cowardice of German intellectuals regarding what happened to the Jewish people. The piece talks about how when they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist; when they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew; then when they came for me there was no one left to speak for me. We need to care about each other and not be cowardly about what is happening in our world today. If we do not step up there will be no one to come for us.

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

Visit www.WendyGladney.com to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. She can be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Is it Time to Reset Your Expectations?

by Wendy Gladney on 12/28/20

Every year as the clock rolls over to the next, I begin to reflect on how I did during the current year and then I write out what I hope to achieve for the year to come. If you are like me, I am so ready to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021.  However, even with all the pain and disappointment that came this year, I still was able to experience some joy when I married the love of my life in our backyard this past summer. Due to COVID-19, I was not able to plan the wedding of my dreams, but then my husband asked me, “do you want a wedding, or do you want a marriage?”

When Ron asked me if I was more concerned with a wedding or a marriage, I had to pause and think about it.  Afterall, I have experienced a few weddings in my life, but the marriages did not turn out too successful and this time I wanted my marriage to last. (I am not saying if you are able to have the wedding of your dreams it means your marriage will not last).  His question and our current world situation caused me to stop and reset my expectations. This ended up being a no brainer in the long run.  Over the years I have been told that I wear “rose colored glasses.”  Which in the case of my wedding day that was probably true.  Rose colored glasses means seeing things from a positive point of view and staying optimistic and I am an optimistic person. I refuse to give up being optimistic, but I am willing to adjust when necessary. 

As I continue to grow older and learn from my mistakes, I find it is important to know when we should reset our expectations or when we should continue to plow through with what we want or expect and stay the course.  It reminds me of not majoring in the minors.  Regarding some things it is better to just let them go and as I said in a previous article, sometimes it is okay if certain things are good enough.  Other times we need to stay true to ourselves and not give up on our dreams and goals.  You may say Wendy, when it is not clear how do I decide when I need to reset my expectations? My answer would be if it conflicts with your core values or a vision you believe came from God, hold onto them, and do not budge, otherwise think about what would really be best for everyone involved.   

I would like to encourage everyone to think about their goals and dreams for the coming year.  Spend some time evaluating if it is something you really want or is it something that has been imposed upon you by others and you feel you must live up to.  Also remember as we continue to grow and go through life experiences our dreams and expectations can adjust or change.  Where I am today as a wife, mother, grandmother, entrepreneur who will be sixty on my next birthday, some things do not matter any more and there are other things that mean the world to me such as my Christianity, being kind to others, leaving a rich heritage and legacy for my children, grandchildren, and future generations. 

So yes, I will be resetting some of my expectations this year, but more than ever I will stay true to what is important to me and for what I believe my calling is in this world.  When you are clear about why you are here (meaning), and what you are supposed to do (message), you will always find your way back to your purpose (mission) and you will know when you must adjust your expectations and when you should just stay the course. I want to wish each of you the best in all you put your hands to do.  Happy New Year!

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

Visit www.WendyGladney to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. She can be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

Good Enough

by Wendy Gladney on 12/14/20

When you hear the phrase “good enough” what do you think? Most of the time we take it personal and we think that WE are not good enough.  We start thinking about our shortcomings, and mistakes and we even go as far as to look at things like our bodies, hair, clothes, and everything else in between.  Once we get past taking it personal and all our physical frailties, we then start sizing up our accomplishments or the lack thereof. We think about the unfinished projects on our desk, the list of things on our “to do” list that continues to grow. And let us not forget about the laundry that is still on the floor. 

I was recently listening to a podcast and the guest was talking about how she has learned that sometimes, “Good Enough” is good enough.  The person talking was someone that I have long admired and followed, and I thought she was a perfectionist. So when I heard her say this, it caught me by surprise. The more I thought about her statement, I had to challenge myself with the question of, how often do I hold myself back from achieving something because I was striving for perfection, rather than accepting that good enough would do? There are some things that will suffice if they are not perfect.

As I reflect on the various seasons of my life, especially after I was first married with children, I had to learn what was important and when I should just take a chill pill and relax.  For example, for those that know me and have ever been in my home, I pride myself in keeping it nice and neat. But when you have a young family and you are being pulled every which way, I had to realize that if everything was not dusted or put up in its proper place, it was okay.  As long as I made sure we did not live-in filth and craziness, it was good enough.  Funny story, one day a girlfriend came by for a cup of tea and she went to my daughter’s bedroom and when she looked inside her toy chest, she said, “oh my goodness Wendy, even Courtney’s toy chest is organized.”  Well, that did not last for long.  

Over time, there have been different things that have come across my path that I had to make decisions on, and I had to decide if it was worth me giving my all or was it fine if I just get it done? I agree, there are some things that we cannot sacrifice on; but we must learn how to discern the difference.  As the saying goes, do not major in the minors. Seek balance in all that you do if you want to achieve peace.  The sad thing is, most of us work hard to get all we can, can all we get, and then just sit on the can. We really do not need a lot of things.  Usually, the person that tries to please everybody (by being perfect) ends up pleasing nobody and becomes sad and lonely.

One of the gifts of getting older is your perspective changes.  I have started focusing more on things that have an eternal value or lend itself to my legacy.  The things I believe I should always seek perfection on include, being the best wife and mother (including grandmother), my word, my character, and my commitment to others.  The rest in life is negotiable. I want my loved ones to always know they are loved and valued, as well as for people to believe I have done my best when and where it counts. By the way, when it comes to the physical aspect of how God has made us – that is good enough too!

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

Visit www.WendyGladney to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. She can be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

How Do We Get Unstuck?

by Wendy Gladney on 12/07/20

COVID-19 has caused a lot of us to feel uneasy.  Now, with new restrictions once again being placed regarding “stay at home,” especially during the holidays, many of us feel stuck. Do you ever feel stuck and unable to free yourself? You are not alone. What I have learned from analyzing this is that it does not have to be permanent. The possibility to become unstuck is available to all of us if we are patient and are willing to put in the work.  We can free ourselves.  Just like if we were accidently stuck in the mud, there is a way out. Just do not give up.

There are many different scenarios we can get ourselves into that make us feel out of control.  I recently found myself stuck.  When the pandemic hit, I thought I would be just fine and that I would be able to ride it out.  After all, I am used to working from home and solving problems no matter where I am.  Also, as an entrepreneur, I am used to the highs and lows of being a solo business owner, so I thought, “no worries, I got this.”  However, it is one thing to project how you think you will feel versus how you will actually feel when you go through the experience.  I even started experiencing emotions that I had during menopause. All of this caused me to feel stuck.

After going through what seemed to be an on-again and off-again roller coaster ride over the past few months, I decided enough is enough.  I wanted off the ride, so I had to figure out how to get unstuck.  The first thing I decided to do was to focus on my blessings and all the wonderful things that are positive in my life.  I have a wonderful family and even with the pandemic, I feel blessed to still be in business.  Secondly, I decided to reach out and get help.  I wanted to make sure that physically I was healthy, and I realized that the source of my feeling stuck was because I do not get enough sleep.  When we are tired everything that bothers us or makes us feel stuck becomes magnified. 

So, if you are feeling stuck and you are trying to figure out how to get out of the muck and mire, here is what I recommend.

      ·         Stop and do a self-assessment – try to get to the root of the issue

·         Once you get to the root you can work on fixing it

·         During the process, focus on the good things that are going right in your life

·         Do not be ashamed to admit if you need some help

·         Make a plan on how to get out of the mud (unstuck)

·         Make sure you get enough sleep

·         Eat a proper diet and commit to some level of exercise

·         Take one day at a time and be kind to yourself

Getting stuck is often a gradual process that does not happen overnight and if it did not happen overnight it may take a moment to become unstuck. Deepak Chopra said, “no matter what the situation, remind yourself that you have a choice.” Keep your chin up, face the music, be patient, and just do the work. 

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

Visit www.WendyGladney to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. She can be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.