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Single Moms Planet

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/02/16

This coming weekend mothers everywhere will be celebrated and honored for their love and commitment to their children and families.  Along life’s journey there are women that come into our lives that fill in the gaps and sometimes holes as it relates to the nurturing, training and love that comes from the hands of a mother. They too will be heralded and lifted up in gratitude for the love they exhibit unconditionally.    Holidays can sometimes be challenging and Mother’s Day for single mothers can be lonely. Oftentimes single mothers carry a load that can be heavy financially, physically and emotionally. They should not feel alone. We can be our sisters keeper and help where and when we can. 


As a child growing up I guess you could say I was raised by a single mother, my grandmother.  My birth mother left me when I was just a little girl and so I fell into the hands of my father and paternal grandmother who we affectionately called “Mother Dear.”  My grandmother, who was up in years by the time I came along, worked very hard to keep a roof over our head and to give me the best life possible.  My grandfather passed away before I was born and therefore I never had the opportunity to meet him.  My grandmother graciously just picked up the pieces of our family and did what she needed to do to keep us all together. Her love extended to many even beyond her own biological family. 


Throughout my childhood besides the steady hand of my grandmother there were different women that came in and out of my life that I referred to or called mom.  Eventually my father remarried so I was blessed with a step-mother who played a role in my development for a period of time, then there were my aunts and eventually a teacher in high school that all weaved into the fabric of my life to help me become the woman I am today.  Growing up I had no idea how these women would play a significant role in my development.  As I grew into womanhood God brought other women into my life to continue to fill the gap where I still needed that motherly touch or prayers. I am eternally grateful.


When I was in college I got married and had two beautiful children.  Little did I know or could have anticipated that I would experience divorce and become a single mother after close to sixteen years of marriage.   I understand personally some of the trials single mothers experience and go through and how you can feel unappreciated and lonely.  Sometimes we land in these situations due to choices or circumstances we’ve made, but no matter what the cause we have to try and keep our heads up and raise our children to the best of our ability.


Neferteri Plessy understands what single mothers go through and she decided to start an organization called Single Moms Planet that can be a resource to help single mothers in need.  After she experienced divorce with two toddlers in tow, she dedicated her life to creating a stable home and nurturing environment for herself and her children.  Then she decided to step out on faith and help other women who were on a similar path who needed help.  On Friday, May 6th Single Moms Planet will honor women from all walks of life at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills as part of her crusade. 


Single Moms Planet (www.SingleMomsPlanet.com) stands in the gap for single mothers that need a little encouragement and possibly a little financial help in the process of raising their children.   All of us at one point or another needed a little help or encouragement along the way.  So this Mother’s Day as you thank your mother and give her flowers think of that single mother you can encourage through a kind word or deed. 


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

My Body Baby!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 04/26/16

Today more than ever many of us have an obsession regarding our weight and body image.  Everywhere we turn there is another picture of what our goal should be in terms of how we look.  Why do we obsess with our bodies so much?  Why is there so much pressure on what our figures should look like?  People spend over $20 billion on this industry.  Not only do we spend a lot of money on trying to fit into an image society says would be right for us, but we spend a lot of mental energy on what our value is depending on what we look like.   We are told our bodies are a temple and that we should take care of them.  I believe this to be true, but we should take care of our bodies not because of external pressure, but because of how we feel internally and because it is the right thing to do. Do better to feel better and the look will come. 


Recently there has been a push by several publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Ebony and even Sports Illustrated to reexamine the way we look at women’s bodies. They have recently graced their covers with women who would be considered full figure.  There are many women current and past such as such as Oprah, Meghan Trainor, Harriet Tubman, and my grandmother, just to name a few who were a bit curvy and full figure, but accomplished great things. Weight and size had nothing to do with their success.  If we are honest most of us struggle with how we look.  Our focus needs to be more about how we feel and less on how we look.  Do not get me wrong, I too struggle with my weight and the older I get the harder it seems to control, but what I am also learning is to put more emphasis on how I feel for my health verses my image.  When we get the inside right I believe the outside will follow.   


When I was growing up I was never considered skinny or thin, but I was not overweight.  My frame overall was pretty small, but I had what was known as black girl hips.  As my grandmother would say, just keep lying down and getting up and see how life has a way of making changes.  When I entered college, I put on those extra few pounds they say freshman gain (where did that come from).  Then after marriage and having children I continued to put on those few extra pounds.  I could easily adjust what I ate for a couple of weeks and like magic the pounds went away.  As I continued to get older I found it harder and harder to shed those few extra pounds and then a few pounds turned into many more.  When I entered into menopause it was as if I hit a wall. I have come to learn health has to be a lifestyle.    


Truth be told we are all a culmination of our habits and I have come to realize that I picked up a few bad habits along life’s journey as it relates to not only my weight, but also my health. Why we pick up bad habits is a story within itself.  I think we allow excuses for why we don’t take care of ourselves and we have to get to a place where we stop making excuses.  When you don’t know what to do just start with one thing.  Make one minor adjustment that can help you get healthier and to the body you desire.  We must also realize that we do not all look the same.  Our frames and structure are different and what may be the right size or figure for one person does not mean that is the standard for all.    


Oftentimes our external is a reflection of our internal and what is really going on inside.  We say we want the best for our lives, but we do not take the necessary steps? As I was working on this article, I got up from my desk and went for a walk, spent time stretching and doing a few sit ups.  I will also make sure today I say no to the donut for breakfast and eat fresh fruit and drink plenty of water.  I am tired of the merry go round and I am ready to get off and make healthier choices for my body baby!  


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

Forgiving For Living 2016 PLUS Awards!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 04/04/16

According to statistics 15 percent of African American girls in 2016 still do not complete high school and never achieve a high school diploma and only approximately 22 percent actually graduate and achieve a bachelor’s degree from college.  These statistics are staggering and we must come together to do something about these numbers.  I recently had a conversation with a dear friend and board member for Forgiving For Living, Inc., Dr. Lauren Walton and she shared that not only do we need to help provide opportunity for the next generation, but they must also possess ambition if they desire to go to the next level.


Forgiving For Living, Inc. (www.forgivingforliving.org) was started in 1999 for the purpose of touching the lives of at risk girls by providing mentoring, teaching life skills and promoting tools that help young ladies believe in themselves and build a positive self image.  Studies show when you give someone the necessary components to succeed in life and you encourage them to believe in their capabilities their chances of having a better future vastly improves.  Forgiving For Living is committed to changing lives one girl at a time.  For over seventeen years we have served and helped close to 3,000 girls across Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.  For the past five years we have focused on young ladies in Jordan Downs Housing Projects and over the past two years we have also concentrated work with The Center For Learning & Unlimited Educational Success, Inc.,  in San Bernardino which is a school that helps students that have limited chances focus on Aviation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 


Each year Forgiving For Living  holds a brunch and silent auction spotlighting special individuals in the community that impact the lives of others and serve as role models for the young ladies we serve. This year we are proud to announce that Salvador Mendoza, Senior Vice President, Community Reinvestment, City National Bank will be the recipient of the President’s Award.  Cynthia Heard, Vice President Business Development and Communications for the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles; Dr. Roslyn Blake, President, MB Ellison, Inc.; Kiesha C. Nix, Executive Director, Lakers Youth Foundation; Rene Nourse, CFP, Urban Wealth Management, LLC.; and Michelle Wulfestieg, Executive Director, Southern California Hospice Foundation are this year’s Community Honorees.  Each of these honorees go above and beyond the call of duty in helping to make the community a better place and to provide opportunity for the next generation.


The PLUS Awards will also feature live entertainment from Jerome Dean Entertainment with singer Sarah Daye and cellist Hope Easton.  Michelle Valles, Co-Anchor and Reporter from NBC4 Southern California will serve as this year’s emcee.  Rev. Jon S. Harris, Pastor of Castle Rock Ministries will bring the invocation.  A host of supporters and sponsors will be present including the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Inland Valley News, City National Bank, Edison International, Wells Fargo, Ronald McDonald House of Charities, U.S. Bank, The Lakers Youth Foundation, Toyota, NBC4 You, Dr. Lauren Walton, and SoCalGas.   The main thing is we will be giving out $10,000.00 in scholarships to worthy and deserving young ladies from across Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties and your support helps us keep our programs going year round.  


How appropriate for the times we live in today Simeon Sinek said, Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation. #FFLFuture #CoachWendy


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

The CABWHP Salute Women Who Dared: Our Legacy & Our Future

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 03/28/16

To close out Women’s History Month, Sonya Young Aadam, CEO of the California Black Women Health Project (CABWHP) is holding a breakfast on Thursday, March 31 at the City Club in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate women you dared and care about uplifting our legacy and future.  Community Advocate and Radio Personality, Dominique DiPrima, Jackie B. Majors, CEO Crystal Stairs, and D’Ann Morris, Community Health Activist and Change Maker will be this year’s honorees. 


The California Black Women's Health Project (CABWHP) is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization founded in 1994 and is an affiliate of the National Black Women's Health Imperative based in Washington DC. Their focus is on empowering Black women to take personal responsibility for their health and to advocate for changes in policies that adversely affect Black women's health status. Their statewide efforts embrace numerous issues, including health promotion and advocacy, which began in partnership with the UCLA Self Help Center to provide self help health education resources and policy advocacy for Black women across the state.


CABWHP is the only 501 c 3 non-profit organization solely dedicated to improving the health of California's Black women and girls through education, policy, outreach and advocacy. They are committed to advocating for policies and practices that promote and improve physical, spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing. They believe a healthier future is possible when women are empowered to make choices in an environment where equal access and health justice are community priorities.


This year’s breakfast marks the twenty first  anniversary of honoring women who understand the importance of educating the community regarding personal health care and wellbeing.  Each of this year’s honorees use their voices and lend their time, talent and expertise to making a difference.  It is incumbent upon each of us to care enough about our own health to take action today.  As women, mothers, daughters, sisters and caretakers we must also stress to those in our lives that tomorrow is not promised and good health has to start today one step at a time.  Even if it means taking little steps.  We can begin to cut back even just a little on the unhealthy foods we eat.  We can begin taking walks around our neighborhoods and making sure we get regular checkups.  Each one reach one.


The California Black Women’s Health Project will use the proceeds from this event to work on achieving health equity for Black women and girls, and to expand their Advocate Training Program, which is an innovative program that trains Black women to be health policy advocates and activists. 


According to the Office of Women’s Health, African Americans have the most, and many times the largest, differences in health risks when compared to other minority groups. African Americans often have more diseases, disabilities, and early deaths as well. African American women often have problems that are chronic, which means they last a long time, and sometimes forever.  Many of these illnesses can be prevented, but lack of health care plays a large part in some of these problems. African American women are less likely to receive health care, but today there are facilities, hospitals and clinics that serve as safety net operations to help everyone.  So there is no reason not to get checked! Start today.  #CABWHP #Health #CoachWendy


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

Where Does Your Hope Lie?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 03/21/16

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  We just celebrated the first day of Spring, graduations, weddings and summer plans are just around the corner.  However, as a Christian, I also feel that it is a time where we can be bold about our convictions and beliefs as it relates to our faith.  One component or fact that sets Christianity apart from all other religions is that we serve a Savior that not only died, but rose again so that we have hope and life. In a world that has a lot of hype and false promises where does your hope lie?


As a little girl I grew up attending a traditional Baptist Church.  Like most churches our church would always have an Easter program where children would recite speeches and a play would be rendered replicating the death and resurrection of Christ.  I always enjoyed the process of picking out which speech I would learn and then I practiced my delivery over and over again.  I would go as far as making my little brother and anyone else that would listen to me hear it until they were probably blue in the face.  Little did I know this helped prepare me for my journey later in life as a professional speaker.  As a matter of fact, a lot of the training I received growing up in church prepared me for many things I do in life today both personally and professionally.   


For Easter my grandmother would make sure my cousins and I had a new dress, shoes, bonnet and pocket book, aka purse, so that we would be bright and shine like a new penny.  She would also make sure our hair was done and that we were ready and prepared for Easter Sunday morning.  It would be many years later as I matured into adulthood that I really came to a true understanding of the magnitude of what Easter as a Christian would really mean.  Instead of getting caught up in the pageantry, which is nice, there is a deeper hope that so many people are searching for that lies within the death, resurrection and life of Jesus. 


Today so many people are hurting.  They are searching for answers on how to not only get through this life, but also how to be happy in this life and what happens after this life.  Ultimately people are seeking peace.  Since the only one that I am aware of that has died and come back to even shed light on this question is Jesus, I am drawn to the bible, also known as the Word of God, to seek these answers. Let me be clear,  I am  not professing to having all of the answers nor have I gotten everything right, but in my own personal journey whenever any of these questions come up, I go back to the rock of my salvation which is Christ and my peace returns.  


Oftentimes in my coming and goings in this life, I am asked why do you seem to always be happy, or why do you smile so much?  This question throws me off because I feel like every day when we have another chance at life we should have a smile because we have another chance to make a difference or get things right.  This also reminds me of a saying I heard growing up in church, we may be the only bible the world will ever read. If you think about this statement that means people may look to you and me for hope and where will we point them?  Will others get so caught up in how we act they cannot hear what we say? 


My prayer this Easter is that everyone will enjoy the hope that lies in the one that died so that all of us might live a more abundant life filled with peace!


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am.