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Monthly Newsletter Archive

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

December 2010 - Season's Greetings
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September 2010 - Celebrating Life & Another Year
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Are You Thankful & What Are You Giving?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 11/24/14

The holiday season has begun.  Social and community events are in full swing.  Shopping and eating seems to be on the minds of many, but there are still those that feel left behind.  As we go through this time of year we must also remember to grow through it by helping others.  It does not take a lot to brighten the day of someone else.  You would be surprised how just sacrificing one outfit, one pair of shoes, or one hour in your day, could turn the life of someone else around.   When you do not know where to start, just be their sweetness in their bitterness and their light in their darkness. 


It can be easy for us to get caught up in the negative that goes on around us every day.  We do not have to look very far to see the child whose stomach hurts because she is hungry, or the woman that was beat by someone she loves and thought she could trust, or how war continues to torment the land.  Over the past year we have experienced so many negative things that could cause us to want to give up or feel depressed. The Nigerian school girls that were abducted in the middle of the night are still out there somewhere feeling alone and abandoned. As of the writing of this article the Michael Brown case in Ferguson has not yet reached a verdict, and now in the news there are the sexual accusations against Bill Cosby stretching back over 30 years ago.  It never stops.  Life is filled with swift transitions many that are beyond our control or comprehension.  


In the midst of all the negativity and pain we tend to overlook the positive things that are going on around the world.  We minimize the person right next to us who remembered us in the smallest of ways. We overlook and fail to donate to organizations that raise money to help others.  Sometimes we even take for granted our health, family, friends, finances, and even life.  However, it is never too late to flip the script, turn over a new leaf and begin to make a difference.  Whenever I talk to people about philanthropy, I always remind them it is not the amount you give, it is the fact that you give and give consistently based on your ability.


Now is the time to stop, reflect and embrace an attitude of gratitude.  Make a list of all the things in your life you are thankful for.  When we focus on gratitude it also helps ward off depression and loneliness.  We also realize we are not in this world alone.  None of us are an island and all of us are products of a combination of the choices we have made, the cards we are dealt, and the role of others.     


I want to challenge everyone, if you are already a giver, and if you already support and share with others, keep it up, but maybe it’s time to stretch a little and do a little more. For those where this will be the first time or it has been a while, pick a charity, a family or an individual that you know would be blessed by your donation or help.  Just like drops of water over time, every little bit can make a dent.  Remember, forgiveness can also be part of what you give to someone.  I continue to be thankful for the grace and forgiveness others extend to me.


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. 


Put Excuses Behind You!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 11/18/14

This past week Forgiving For Living unveiled our new Ambassador Handbook to our girls at Jordan Downs and the Center for Learning and Unlimited Educational Success, Inc. (CLUES).  It always brings me joy when we are able to share information that causes a light bulb to go on for our girls and they get excited about learning.  This past week one of our girls shared a quote that made me pause and think. It says, If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse.  The truth has never been so clear.


I have been in a reflective state for quite some time.  As I continue to chart the course for the various projects and endeavors that interest me, I am constantly tweaking what is really important and weeding out what is just surface.  As I work through this process I think about another saying that encourages us to not major in the minors.  If we are honest many of us focus on things that either do not matter or are areas of least resistance.   We do not press ourselves to be our best and to reach our highest potential.  Are we afraid of hard work?  Are we afraid of success? Marianne Williamson said it best and Nelson Mandela reminded us when he said, Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  Some of us may actually be afraid that if we stop making excuses and do what we know is best we would actually achieve a level of success that exceeds our highest expectation. 


My personal opinion to why we struggle is because we have not identified what is important or what we really want in life.   In order to know what is important we have to go back to what are our core values and beliefs.  We also need to be clear on what are our gifts and our purpose in life.  Once we have identified these things, the rest will fall into place.  We have to stop making excuses for why we do not do what we know needs to be done.  When in doubt always go back to the basics. 


I have decided to stop talking about something until I am ready to do something about it.  Saying that you are going do something or that something is important to you and then doing nothing about it minimizes your word and undermines your dependability.  I want my word to always mean something.  If I say something is important to me, I want the people in my life to understand and value my choices, but it must start with me and the actions I take. The bible tells us that a double minded woman is unstable in all her ways. 


As we approach this holiday season, let us take time to reflect on the things that really matter.  Let us stop making excuses on why we have not done the things we know are important and let us make a commitment to do the things that will make a difference.  We do not have to wait until the new year to make positive choices and get on the right path. 


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. 


Recycling Black Dollars

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 11/09/14

Many years ago I met a gentleman by the name of Muhammad Ali Nassardeen.  He was the founder and visionary of RBD Communications and Recycling Black Dollars.  I was captivated by Muhammad’s spirit and his commitment to preserving the economics and culture of the African American community by educating the importance of spending our dollars among one another.  RBD’s mission today still stresses the economic development of the African American community by encouraging support of black businesses.  This concept is actually taught in many, if not most, cultures, ethnicities and communities.  There are some groups that actually circulate a dollar at least five times before it leaves their community. I come from an entrepreneur family.  My paternal grandmother, my father, my sister, my brother, and of course myself, have all owned and run our own businesses, so I know the importance of supporting our enterprises. I personally try to support black owned businesses, women owned businesses and small businesses in general where I live. 


Dr. Boyce Watkins shared how in America power comes from ownership.  Supporting black-owned businesses helps with building wealth, decreasing unemployment and uplifting neighborhoods.  We live in a society of inclusion and economically we do business with everyone, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to preserve and support businesses that help the community in which you live.  A good place to start would be to look at businesses such as your barber or beautician, your doctor, lawyer or consultant?  Do you have money in a black bank or institution?  If we want to help keep these businesses thriving we have to put our money where our mouth is.  It’s really that simple.  It may not always be convenient or easy, but if we look at the hard work many of our ancestors did to start these enterprises, it should motivate us a little harder to try. Understanding the overall benefits and what it means to families and the community brings this to life.


RBD annually holds the Positive Side Awards which encourages strengthening the ties that connect the community.  When I received a call from Jacque Bee that I would be presented with the Amina Nassardeen Community Service Award for the work I do with Forgiving For Living and the young ladies in the community, I was humbled.  As I did my research to find out who Amina Nassardeen was, I found out she was the mother of Muhammad.  She is described as a deeply religious woman who loved the Lord and stayed in the Word.  Her career included being a full-time social worker and she volunteered in juvenile detention centers.  Amina Nassardeen and I both care about youth and helping them prepare for a better future. 


Thank you Jacque Bee and Crystal Mitchell for reminding us of the importance of supporting black-owned businesses (www.rbdmedia.net). As I sit to put pen to paper, I am grateful that we have black owned media that give me a voice to share this information.   I believe we can all do well by doing good.  Let’s try and support the work of those in our community when and where we can. Think before you spend.


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. 


Are You Using Your Gifts?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 11/02/14

I am a firm believer that all of us have a purpose in life.  The essence of pretty much everything I do centers around helping other people figure out what their mission (purpose) in life is all about.  However, even for the most focused of us things can get fuzzy from time to time causing us to get off track.  Life is filled with so many distractions and we have to be careful to understand what and why we do what we do.


I really enjoy reading and many of the books about success center around understanding the difference between your dreams, passion, strengths, talents, skills and gifts.  What is the difference? On the surface it can be confusing to understand which one is important and which one we should focus on.  Proverbs 18:16 says that a man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.  A gift is defined as a natural ability or talent.  Sometimes we do not value our gifts.  When I was younger someone told me I had the gift of encouragement and hospitality.  My first thought was what kind of gift is that? I had no idea what that meant and how important those two gifts could be. I also had no clue how significant they were in the foundation of all things I would set out to do in life.  My core gifts are helping others, listening, caring and sharing the importance of forgiveness.  How these gifts are manifested come out in many ways and oftentimes through my talents or skills.  So now I see how the gift of encouragement and hospitality tie everything all together. 


What I have found in life is that oftentimes our gifts hide behind our dreams, skills and talents.  Our gifts are what come to us naturally without even thinking about what we are doing. The skills and talents we possess can be natural, but we also usually work on them in some form or fashion.  We take classes to improve and usually we focus more on our skills or talents because they tie into how we make a living.  When it comes to our gifts we oftentimes put them in the category of a hobby or that is just something I like to do.   Some people possess more than one gift, but most of us are given one that makes us stand out above the crowd.  In Steve Harvey’s latest book on success, he talks about when we are truly living in our gifts, opportunities will come up where our dream is no longer a question about who we are, but more specifically showing who and what we were meant to be.  Don’t be afraid to explore how far you can go with your gifts. 


As I bring this to a close, I want to encourage you to take some time and think about what you love to do naturally, think about what people always compliment you on, and think about how you can turn your gifts into a path of how you live the rest of your life.  I am amazed how God continues to open new doors for me to live in my gifts and make a living.  Whether I am walking in the path of coaching, consulting, community relations, mentoring, or even event planning, I am able to use my true gifts of helping others and showing compassion through encouragement and hospitality.  Keep dreaming, set goals, develop your strengths and see how your true gifts can shine through all that you put your hands to do. I believe when we live out our true purpose using our gifts, we make the world a better place for everyone.


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. 

To Spank or not to Spank!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 10/23/14

The other day I was on social media and I saw a message my daughter posted about a spanking she received as a little girl and how she was disciplined.  It caught me by surprise because my children did not really receive a lot of spankings.  We actually gave them options. That was during an era when time out became the new tool of discipline.  This was very different from the way I grew up.  If I am honest, I do not remember getting a lot of spankings, but one in particular I will never forget was when I walked home from the skating rink and it seemed like every adult relative in my family lined up to spank my bottom.  They claimed something terrible could have happened to me, but no one remembered to pick me up.  To this day I remember that spanking.


As I probed a little more on social media of what would prompt my daughter to have such a dialogue on Facebook, I realized there was a lot of discussion about a recent episode on a new sitcom called black-ish, that discussed the subject around crime and punishment and whether children should be disciplined in the form of a spanking.  What I found interesting was the debate on the difference between the way African American parents discipline their children verses other communities.  I did not realize there was a difference.  I thought all kids when I was growing up got disciplined the same way as I did. 


Recently in the news we also learned about American football running back, Adrian Peterson who was indicted on September 11th by a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child that occurred on May 18, 2014. He is accused of beating his four-year-old son with a tree branch, causing severe welts and bleeding on the child's back, legs, buttocks, genitals and ankles.  When I was a little girl my grandmother would give me a spanking and she would tell me to go into the backyard and pick a switch off one of the trees.  She would then begin to spank my legs and my bottom and even have a conversation with me about why she was spanking me, as if I did not know, but she never caused me to bleed and she never went too far. 


As a Christian, I do believe that you should train up a child in the way he/she should go and when they are old they would not  depart, but whether spanking is part of that scenario, I believe is a personal choice.  What works for one child may not work for another. How far is too far may be debatable, but child abuse is never acceptable! Giving love and time to our children is definitely the way to go.


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.