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What is Your Action Plan to Get Through & Rise Above The COVID-19 Crisis?

by Wendy Gladney on 03/30/20

Have you ever said if I just had more time, I would work on this or that?  Have you thought to yourself if I just had a little more time, I could improve my current life or situation? Well for some of us that time is now.  Unfortunately, some people have been laid off and some are working from home.  In either situation we all have more time on our hands. If we think about all the time most of us spend on the road commuting, if we just use that block of time we could make an action plan to get us through this COVID-19 crisis and prepare us for a better landing when we get past this. The question you must ask yourself is, are you going to go through this season or are you going to grow during this season?

COVID-19 has us all thinking about what we can do to not only get through this crisis, but hopefully come out stronger and better on the other side.  If you don’t know where to start here are a few tips I hope will help.  Feel free to also make your own list and share it with others if you think it will help them.

1.       First, take care of your whole self.  Mind, body and soul. Do what you can to fuel your mind by taking online courses and reading.  Exercise. We can still move our bodies and practice social distancing.  Don’t abandon your faith.  Now more than ever people are having to rely on what they believe.  Take advantage of having the time to take care of yourself.

2.       When things look low, go high!  Always keep your goal in your front view. Be careful of any negative self-talk and allowing negativity from other people to influence you.  Now is the time to stay focused and positive.  

3.       Spend time expanding your skills and talents.  Spending more time in-doors whether you are telecommuting or if you’ve been laid off, can allow you to spend some time thinking about what you want your future to look like.  It may be time to set some new goals.

4.       Be willing to take risks.  What is considered a tough time may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. This may be the time for you to try something you’ve always been scared to.  Believe in yourself.

5.       Take responsibility and create a plan.  Don’t put the fate of your future totally in the hands of others.  Put your thinking cap on and see how creative you can be. Whether you launch into a new career, find a side hustle, or just better prepare yourself for your current position, take responsibility for your own future.  

Stars shine the brightest when it is the darkest.  Put in the work now so that you can land on your feet when we all get on the other side of this virus.  Author, Catherine Pulsifer said, “Speaking from my personal experiences, setting goals, along with a detailed action plan, has actually changed my life from one cast in frustration to one of purpose.”  If you have not found your purpose thus far, this may be the season it becomes revealed.

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. 

Each One Reach One

by Wendy Gladney on 03/23/20

The continuation of the COVID-19 crisis is still upon us and we will probably be faced with this situation for weeks to come.  We must not panic but move forward with caution and wisdom.  It is important that all of us do our part to eradicate this problem.  As I’ve talked to family, friends and clients, some feel stuck and unsure on what they can do to make a difference.  I believe we all have something we can contribute to be part of the solution and not perpetuate the problem.  Let’s be accountable to one another to do and be our best now more than ever. Also remember those that are most vulnerable and help where you can.

I grew up with my grandmother who was born during the turn of the century (1900) and lived through the Great Depression that started in 1929 and lasted through the 1930’s.  This was a time of severe worldwide economic depression when people had to figure out how they were going to make it through, oftentimes with very little. Towards the end of World War II, she travelled from the South (Texas) to the West Coast (California) with very little money in hopes of a better life for her children and her children’s children.  In the 1960’s we experienced the Civil Rights Movement and all of the issues that came along with that change. Each generation experiences various trials and tribulations that they must figure out how they will come through.  With what we are experiencing today we must come together and each one reach one the best way possible.

You may ask, how can I do something or make a difference when we are told to stay home and practice social distancing when in public?  There are a few recommendations that I would like to share. If you can send donations to organizations that are working to impact the lives of people suffering and need medical attention or food, please send whatever you can.  No amount is too small. If someone needs a little patience or understanding, try to extend grace.  We should all stay abreast of what the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) are recommending for us to do and follow it.  When in doubt seek reliable advice. The way people receive information and news varies and we must make sure we are getting accurate information before we share with others.

When I think about the wisdom of my grandmother and how she came through various trials and tribulations that life threw her way, I remember asking her why she did certain things such as stockpiling certain types of food, limiting what she purchased (even when she could afford it) or making sure when times were tough she still helped her neighbors, they are actually all wonderful ways of living no matter what state we are in.  Great lessons for life.  Another thing we can all do is take the time to reach out via phone to check on those that may be alone or struggling through these times.  If you can, while you are working from home, take a moment to write a personal handwritten note to someone that can cheer them unexpectedly when they get their mail. It sure beats a bill!

Never lose sight that this too shall pass and one of the questions we can ask ourselves is what lesson(s) have we learned while going through this situation? What can we do to better prepare ourselves and our families for the future?  Never forget the power we each hold in our hands to make a difference in the lives of those around us by reaching out and letting someone know you care and they are not alone.

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. 

Faith, Family, Facts - Not Fear

by Wendy Gladney on 03/16/20

We are living in trying times and I would never dismiss the severity of the current situation we are all experiencing.  However, I would like to encourage everyone to not live in fear; but rather to take every possible precaution to be safe while living a full and productive life.  The fallout of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been tragic and my prayers go out to the families that have experienced sickness and death.  In our humanity we must be there for those that need us while we continue to press forward. I recently read where when you don’t know what to do or say, just be kind and show compassion.  This is definitely a great place to start.

Part of the fallout from this crisis has caused many things to either shut down, cancel or reschedule to a later date. The nonprofit I founded called, Forgiving For Living had a big event scheduled for March 22nd and we have to now reschedule.  I actually was holding out thinking that we would be able to still move forward since it was a relatively small event (approximately 150 people), but as I sit and write this article things have heightened and being responsible we had to follow suit and reschedule for a later date.   With my history as an event planner I understand the havoc this crisis is causing.  People are getting sick, people across the globe are dying, jobs are being lost and people are afraid of what the future holds.

The Bible tells us that we will experience various types of trials and tribulations in this world, but that we are not to fear.  This is not the first time we’ve been here.  Over the years we’ve experienced things such as the Swine Flu, Zika Virus, the West Nile Virus, Ebola, Anthrax, and HIV/AIDS to name a few.  They are all tragic and yes, we will experience some who will not survive. Nevertheless, we must not walk in fear, but rather hold onto our faith, family and do our best to learn all the facts.  Oftentimes hysteria happens when there’s a lot of false information floating around, and people listen to and pass along half-truths. The way you can help is to make sure you verify any information you pass along. 

As we continue to move through these trying times let’s not forget to keep “the main thing the main thing.” What this means is let’s not focus on things that are small and petty.  Let’s show patience, love, kindness and forgiveness to those that may be really struggling through this chaos.  Keep your head and remember this too shall pass.  We will get to the other side.  Take all the necessary precautions we are told to do.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Check on each other, especially our seniors.  If you don’t feel well, rest and get the proper medical attention.  Practice social distancing and proper hygiene.  These things will help, but some things we don’t have total control over, and we will have to wait for them to run their course.

Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen.  We don’t know why bad things happen to good or innocent people.   What we can do is try and figure out what is the message for each of us to take from any situation.  Right now, would be a good time for all of us to get our own houses in order.  First, start with personal relationships.  Try and right any wrongs you may have with loved ones because we never know what the future holds.   Get your personal affairs in order.  Make sure you have your Trust, Will, finances, paperwork, etcetera all in place.  While we get on with living, stock up on necessary items needed in case of an emergency.  As for me and my house we will trust in the Lord. Sending out prayers to everyone.

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. 

Sowing a Legacy of a Good Education!

by Wendy Gladney on 03/09/20

I remember the day I received my confirmation in the mail that I was accepted into the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).  I was not the first in my family to attend college, but as the eldest sibling, I would be the one to encourage my brother and sisters that it was possible for them as well.  My grandmother, who was my primary caregiver, was a graduate of an Historical Black College (HBCU) called Bishop, located in Texas.  She made sure we knew the importance of getting an education; so, for me, college was not an option.  It was not a matter of if I would go to college, but rather where I would go.

I’ve heard some people say that they do not believe going to college after high school is even necessary to be successful in the world.  When I’ve had these discussions, the people that believe this always give examples of people that did not graduate from college who are successful.  While this may be true, those individuals are in the minority, and usually come from money and wealth or they invent something that brings them financial success.  I believe that attending college provides more than just a pathway to obtaining a good job; it also provides an opportunity to get a well-rounded education, meet some fantastic people and gives young people time to mature and grow up.

Growing up, I was always told that I had an old soul.  I believe this is true and it took years for me to catch up to myself. But when I think about my years at UCLA, I met people that I am still friends with to this day.  When my daughter went away to attend Spelman in Atlanta, my friend and UCLA classmate Deanna instantly became her “Atlanta family.”  While I was at UCLA, I also became an intern in Washington, D.C. with Congressman Julian C. Dixon.  I became exposed to a world in DC that I would have never known had I not had that opportunity as a college student.  I could go on about the various doors that opened to me while at UCLA, but the bottom line is the opportunity to go to college changed my life in a positive way.

What about all the students that don’t get the opportunity to go to college?  I sit on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Black Alumni Association (UBAA) and one of our goals is to not only encourage students to attend UCLA, but to also help them get in, stay in and graduate.  As UCLA continues to celebrate their centennial, UBAA is celebrating 100 years of Black Bruin Excellence.  We are doing this by keeping the life and legacy of Winston C. Doby alive.  Winston Churchill Doby was one of UCLA’s vice chancellors. He was Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs for 20 years, making him the longest-serving Vice Chancellor in UCLA history, and then served as the Vice President of Student Affairs for the UC system.

While I attended UCLA, Winston C. Doby touched my life and I am grateful to be part of a group of alumni that want to keep his desires going and growing for future generations.  On Saturday, March 14, UBAA will hold a dinner honoring nine distinguished individuals who are also committed to educating students.  We will raise money to give scholarships to worthy students. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Let’s encourage everyone to maximize any opportunity to expand their education -- no matter where it may be.   

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

 www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. 

International Women's Day!

by Wendy Gladney on 03/02/20

As we close out Black History Month and usher in Women’s History Month two beautiful women that impacted our lives recently made their transition and are no longer with us.  Barbara Elaine Smith also known as B. Smith and Katherine Johnson, better known to some as the star of the movie Hidden Figures. March 8th is the day we celebrate International Women’s Day, so I wanted to celebrate these two firsts.   Ms. Smith and Ms. Johnson left their stamp in very different ways, but both of these beautiful ladies made an impact not only here in the United States, but internationally.  

Barbara Elaine Smith was best known as a restaurateur, lifestyle guru, and was one of the first African American models to be featured on the cover of “Mademoiselle” magazine.  She helped break through barriers that helped open doors for other women of color working in the modeling industry. She was our Martha Stewart.  I remember when I learned about who she was I was attracted to her beautiful smile and I had to visit her restaurant in Manhattan called, B. Smith’s.  Later when I visited Sag Harbor I went to her restaurant there as well.  Although I never met her personally, she touched me in such a way that showed me a role model who accomplished some of the things I tried and wanted to do.  So, as you can imagine it was sad when I learned that she not only suffered with Alzheimer’s, but that at the still young age of 70 she succumbed to the disease. Before her death she collaborated on a book, “Before I Forget,” to share her fight against the disease and to provide practical advice for families and loved ones who may also suffer.

Katherine Johnson was the NASA mathematician who helped send the first United States astronauts into orbit and later to the moon.  She lived over a century and now she is resting above the stars.  She was known as a trailblazer in the quest for racial equality and for her work in the math and science world. She served as the inspiration for the lead character in “Hidden Figures” and has made many little girls of color seek an interest in the field of math and science.  When she was making history, I was just being born.  Her life and work have touched me personally because I have two very dear friends who have worked with her and have helped her story come to light.  Because of the life and work of Ms. Johnson my childhood friend Dr. Yvonne Cagle became an astronaut and will speak at her memorial.  In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Katherine Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor and last year a NASA facility in West Virginia was renamed in her honor. Ms. Johnson happened to also be the first African American woman to attend graduate school at West Virginia University so how appropriate.  It warms my heart that she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority where I am also a member.

The question I would ask is how do the lives and accomplishments of both Katherine Johnson and Barbara Elaine Smith help motivate you?  I read that the two most important days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we come to learn why we were born.  It is evident by their fruit that both of these ladies understood why they existed, and they lived their lives to the fullest.  Let’s honor them and all women who came before us and helped pave the way by not wasting our lives.  After all we have the next generation coming behind us that are looking to us as their example.  This coming Sunday, March 8th let’s celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women everywhere!

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.